San Diego County CA— Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT), a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing transition-age foster youth with the resources and relationships needed to succeed, has announced that its annual College Bound event has been reimagined for our current reality. Despite the challenges and obstacles caused by COVID-19, JIT is dedicated to making sure transition-age foster youth heading to college have the critical tools, resources, connections, and support necessary to excel.
Through College Bound, graduation and retention rates are around 80% for over 700 participants since 2006. This is compared to the graduation rates for former foster youth who lack critical resources and dependable relationships – about 3% to 6%.
Traditionally a two-day, in-person event, College Bound is where the JIT community comes together to celebrate current and former foster youth who are going to college and give them the support to compete and graduate. This year’s College Bound event is themed “JIT University” and will focus on how youth are “Virtually Unstoppable” when facing challenges and obstacles in life.
“We know that having a sense of belonging and a feeling of consistent support is essential to the youth we serve as they head off to meet the challenges of college,” says JIT Executive Director, Don Wells. “Our experience with the hundreds of College Bound students we’ve served for 15 years has shown us that establishing reliable relationships, and connecting young people to the positive energy of our College Bound event as they make this life-changing transition, is the beginning of a path to personal, professional, and financial success. We’ll offer that same energy in 2020.”
On Saturday, July 18th and Saturday, July 25th, JIT will host drive-thru distribution days, where youth will stop by to load their cars with the tangible tools they need to compete in college, such as a laptop, printer, school and dorm room supplies, and more. JIT staff and community members will be there to welcome, cheer, and celebrate the youth – all while maintaining appropriate social distancing.
Dates of Drive-Thru Events:
- Saturday, July 18th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., outside of the JIT main office (4560 Alvarado Canyon Rd., San Diego, CA 92120).
- Saturday, July 25th, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., outside of the North County Lifeline offices (200 Michigan Ave., Vista, CA 92084).
In addition to the distributions, College Bound participants are invited to join JIT for a special online celebration on Saturday, August 1st from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will feature recognition of youth beginning their college journeys, recent graduates, and those continuing their education in graduate school. There will also be a panel of college students who will host a Q & A session for all participants. In addition, the hour-long celebration will feature video highlights and a spoken word poem by a former College Bound participant.
About 75 youth are expected to be welcomed into the JIT community over the course of these events. Youth will be virtually paired with volunteers who will be there to support them all the way through graduation, helping to close the gaps of doubt and disconnection felt by so many during these difficult times. Additionally, throughout the participants’ time in college, College Bound workshops will be offered to teach key knowledge and skills needed to help them succeed. A new emphasis will be on online skills and adaptive learning to reflect the current academic environment.
“College Bound goes beyond giving our participants a strong start in their academic journeys,” says Virgo Villajin, Youth Services Lead Coordinator for Just in Time. “We provide the ongoing support that a healthy, caring family should for a young person, including financial support for an internship, coaching and financial assistance to plan a study abroad experience, emergency financial support, a workshop curriculum that encompasses the knowledge they’ll need to thrive in college, and a coach that’s eager to celebrate them at their graduation.”
To learn more about College Bound, opportunities to invest and how to, please visit