20 CHGA Youth have gone to College!

Our PLUS program has sent 20 Youth to College

Meet Ms. LaToya Farris, Day Services Coordinator

If you have visited our campus, you have probably met Ms. LaToya. She has held virtually every program role here, and is now our Day Services Coordinator where she coordinates job readiness classes, health services, and educational programs for our youth. Last year, she, along with our Director of Support Services, Regina Jennings, launched a new program for our youth called Pathways Leading to Undergraduate Studies (PLUS). We took some time to speak with LaToya about why this program is so crucial for our youth's success.

Q: When did Covenant House Georgia launch Pathways Leading to Undergraduate Studies? 
A: Pathways Leading to Undergraduate Studies launched in June 2017 as a part of our Summer Youth Recognition Ceremony where we recognize each of our youth for the amazing accomplishments they have made while being at Covenant House. Every single youth who re-enrolled into high school, GED and/or college were inducted into PLUS on that day.

Q: Why is it an important program? 
A: It is important for every single youth who comes through the doors of Covenant House Georgia to have a positive experience related to education re-engagement. We want youth to recognize that they are valued and that learning is a life-long process. We hope that through PLUS a youth recognizes their own worth and gains the confidence necessary for success in their educational endeavors.

Q: What is special about this program? 
A: Many of our youth have had traumatic experiences in the traditional classroom setting. Because of this their confidence in their ability to thrive and succeed has been crushed. PLUS creates a community that honors and embraces the learning process by upholding high expectations and incorporating resiliency-building therapeutic practices.

Q: What do you think has been the most successful part of this program? 
A: Being able to send over 20 youth to college since our launch date is something that we are very proud of. Many programs/shelters are promoting GED instruction/obtainment, which is a needed service. We believe, however, that it is important for our youth to know that they can aim even higher than a GED or high school diploma. Exposing our youth to college life has been a huge confidence builder, and they now believe that they can accomplish the "impossible".

Q: What are our goals for PLUS in the coming year? 
A: Our goal is to continue introducing our youth to all available educational resources. We plan to continue educating our youth through TABE (Test for Adult Basic Education), learning assessments, college hour, and learning communities. We'd like to increase our number of college tours and continue building relationships with the EMBARK department in colleges and universities, which increasing college access to youth who have expriecned foster care or homelessness. 

Q: Why is it important for people to donate? 
A: Education costs money! As it is our goal to offer PLUS resources to every single youth that comes through our doors, we are in need of funding for school transcripts, TABE (Test for Adult Basic Education) licenses, GED books/materials, SAT books/study material, college application fees, dorm fees, dorm room home goods, etc. Our youth are the future leaders of this world, and it's important that we support them morally and financially in their educational endeavors.

If you would like to donate to our #SHINEBRIGHT campaign in support of our PLUS program, click here!


20 CHGA Youth have gone to College!


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