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CA-5/12/14 Call - Foster Youth & Education w/ Milissa San Miguel

Event Details

CA-5/12/14 Call - Foster Youth & Education w/ Milissa San Miguel

Time: May 12, 2014 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: 1-916-209-4534, code 3698002#
Phone: 1-916-209-4534, Code 3698002#
Event Type: ca, call, 5/12/14, w/, guest, speaker, melissa, san, miguel
Organized By: Nancy Merritt
Latest Activity: May 4

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Event Description




Guest Speaker


Policy Manager, FosterEd:  California

Will Discuss

Understanding Education Policy for Foster Youth


May 12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Call-in Number 1-916-209-4534 Access Code 3698002#


Education is inextricably intertwined with quality of life and violence prevention.  There are approximately half a million foster children in this country.  “Removed from their families because they have experienced abuse or neglect, the State becomes their guardian and has a unique legal obligation to ensure their well-being … including educational success. Yet their educational outcomes are heartbreakingly poor. “ (


Most foster youth are “aged–out” of the child welfare system when they turn eighteen.  “Without educational success, they are ill-equipped to support themselves.  The cost to these children and society is extraordinary:  over 25% of former foster children experience homelessness, approximately 25% spend time incarcerated, about 33% receive public assistance, and unemployment rates top 50%.


Recent studies have found that foster children:

  • Have significantly higher rates of school absenteeism and disciplinary referrals than their peers
  • Are more likely to perform below grade level (75% perform below grade level)
  • Are about twice as likely to be held back in school (83% are held back by third grade)
  • Drop out of school nearly twice as frequently (50% obtain a high school diploma/GED)
  • Attend a four-year college at a significantly lower rate (fewer than 3% do so)




The good news is that students with active educational champions have higher GPAs and test scores, better attendance, and improved behavior at home and school. This is where the National Center for Youth Law and FosterEd make a difference.


Our guest speaker, Melissa San Miguel, is the Policy Manager, Foster Ed: California, an initiative of the National Center for Youth Law. The National Center for Youth Law uses the law to improve the lives of poor children.  Its mission is to create lasting change for children in need.  “We are a non-profit organization that uses the law to ensure that low-income children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for a fair start in life.  We work to ensure that public agencies created to protect and care for children do so effectively.”  For more information, see 


Melissa San Miguel was born in San Francisco and raised in the Mission district.  Prior to her current work, Melissa was Legislative Affairs Coordinator for The Education Trust-West, an education nonprofit focused on closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color. Through that role, she was part of a historic and successful movement to reform the way California funds its schools and children.  

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