I think it’s the transitions.
For our incoming students, they are hit with a reality check
like you cannot believe. Never in their lives have they had
this much freedom. In an institutional setting they’ve
been told when to wake up, when to go to the bathroom, when
to eat. Things have been done for them and for many, it’s
the first time they’re making their own choices and
learning from their own mistakes.
For students graduating from college it is like another
emancipation process: “I have to move, I have to be
able to be self- supporting, get a job, lose all my friends,
lose all my support.” That is dramatic for some students.
In the year before graduation, we see a great deal of anxiety
and fear. Much of that is not knowing what’s going to
happen. That’s why I talk about the importance of the
Guardian Scholars who have made it, to come back and tell
current scholars that it’s going to be okay –
how great it is to feel like you’re no longer burdened
by being labeled a foster youth.