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HOUSTON (CW39) — When Foster kids leave the system, some feel the dream of one day attending college may not be in the cards for them. But, Lone Star College has created a program that hopes to help foster kids, make that college dream come true.

Lone Star College “Navigators” currently assists 962 LSC students who are involved in the foster or adoptive care system by offering educational, transportation and housing resources. “Lone Star College has services and support to help students who have experienced foster care navigate to and through Lone Star College,” said Gerald F. Napoles, Ph.D., LSC Vice Chancellor Student Success. “Lone Star College offers a valuable college education that can influence academic and career opportunities.”

According to the Texas Education Agency, students who were in foster care are eligible to have college tuition and fees waived at Texas state-supported colleges or universities, medical schools, dental schools, community colleges and technical institutes.

The LSC Navigators program works with community organizations and school districts in its service area to help students involved in the Foster Care System to continue their education during or after high school. Additionally, the program provides critical resources and services to assist those facing a deficit in basic needs.

For more information on LSC Navigators or find an advisor at your home campus, visit Lone Star Navigators here.

“Partnering with Lone Star College’s Navigators program allows area school districts like Spring ISD to provide needed life and educational resources to their students currently in foster care,” said Glorivee Burgos, Spring ISD Special Populations Advisor. “Our goal is to help them further their education beyond high school, which will lead to vast opportunities in the job market.”

According to Lone Star College, Dinica Colbert entered the Foster Care System at age 10 and reunited with her family at 17. Although she has been out of foster care for 15 years, Colbert continues to tell her story to students in the LSC Navigators program. “I share my story because I feel like I can relate to others currently facing the same challenges that I did,” said Colbert. “I want to tell the world that there are pros and cons of growing up in the system, but I’ve found that the government programs have helped me and others get on our feet.”

Colbert graduated from LSC-Houston North Greenspoint with an associate of applied science degree in human services. She plans to attend a four-year university and pursue a career in social work. The LSC Navigators program is a college-wide network of support that offers students who exited the system or are homeless to achieve educational success by focusing on recruitment, retention and graduation. The program helps individuals with transportation, child care, housing assistance and other beneficial services.

“If you were in foster care and are attending or planning to attend Lone Star College, we are here to support you with many resources to help reduce barriers as you start or complete your educational journey,” said Ashlie Resendez, LSC Acting Associate Vice Chancellor Student Services.