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DCCCD Hosts Texas REACH Conference on Foster Youths


For immediate release — May 10, 2012

(DALLAS) — What do graduating high school seniors in Texas who have spent their lives in foster care usually do after they graduate? More than 90 percent look for a job; most of them never even consider college as an option. Only three percent of those foster youths who do decide to attend college actually graduate.

Each year, an average of 1,400 young people turn 18 and age out of the foster care system in Texas. They are potential students who likely will never enroll at the state’s colleges and universities. However, educators and foster care advocates who attend the annual Texas REACH Conference want to change that enrollment trend — to bring more foster care youths into the higher education system so that they can learn, dream and succeed.
The Dallas County Community College District will host the third annual Texas REACH Conference on May 23 and 24 at the Bill J. Priest Campus of El Centro College, 1402 Corinth St. in Dallas. The statewide event offers professionals who work with foster youth a variety of new ideas, best practices and programmatic information that can help them better serve those students. The theme for the 2012 conference is “Helping foster youth reach their dream of a college education.”

The two-day event will focus on which student success initiatives are working for former foster youths as colleges and universities partner with foster care advocates to eliminate barriers to student success.

Participants also will learn about state and national sources that are available for foster youths; ways that colleges and universities can address the special support needs of those students; and networking opportunities that will enable them to share ideas and information about post-secondary education opportunities for children who are about to leave foster care.

The cost to attend is $55 per person, which includes lunch both days. Resource vendors may register and attend for the same cost. Participants can register online at Keri Rogers at Sam Houston State University is maintaining the contact list for the conference; she can be reached at

For more information, contact: Sheila Bustillos Reynolds, program coordinator for Design, Technology and Engineering for All Children (DTEACh) at the University of Texas at Austin, by phone at (512) 475-6845 and by email at; or Elaine Carter, supervisor of prevention services for Casey Family Programs in Austin, by phone at (512) 691-1566 or by email at

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Press contact: Ann Hatch