iFoster launches ‘Off-To-College’ suite, seeks Truckee Tahoe partners | SierraSun.com

iFoster launches ‘Off-To-College’ suite, seeks Truckee Tahoe partners

Special to the Sun
iFoster has distributed more than 5,000 computers nationwide to eligible youth.
Courtesy Thinkstock.com | iStockphoto

iFoster (www.ifoster.org) launched its “Off-To-College” suite for California’s current and former foster and kinship youth.

Foster youth head off to college without parental support, which often makes the difference between succeeding or having to drop out. The iFoster suite of services is designed to provide tools and support they need to become successful, independent adults.

“Our California foster youth are attending community, state and elite private colleges across the country. Many are on academic and athletic scholarships. The least we can do is ensure they have the tools they need to succeed,” said Serita Cox, iFoster’s executive director.

TAY (TRANSITION AGE YOUTH) ASSISTANT

The TAY Assistant is a 24/7 digital personal assistant that searches through iFoster’s hundreds of national and local resources, specifically curated for foster youth. Personalized resource suggestions are combined with a secure, organized Digital Locker in which youth can store documents such as social security and birth certificates, health records, transcripts, resumes and emancipation letter.

By linking these together, it streamlines the process of finding, applying for and receiving resources.

The TAY Assistant provides a calendaring system and direct connections with support networks including social workers, guardian scholar counselors and mentors.

iFOSTER LAPTOP PROGRAM

Foster youth can be at a tremendous disadvantage without access to a computer. iFoster provides free and low-cost refurbished laptop computers complete with full versions of Microsoft Windows 7 and Office Home and Student. iFoster has distributed more than 5,000 computers nationwide to eligible youth.

IFOSTER INTERNET PROGRAM

Access to the Internet is a necessity for succeeding in college. Based on location and eligibility, iFoster is able to provide free mobile Internet.

IFOSTER CELLPHONE PROGRAM

Staying in touch with their support network is fundamental to success for foster youth. iFoster assists youth to apply for a free cell phone with unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts and no annual contract.

TUTORING

Via iFoster, youth can access free one-on-one online tutoring from qualified and approved professionals, seven days a week, with no appointment necessary.

CAREER AND COLLEGE PLANNING

To help youth plan their futures, iFoster provides free access to career cruising, which allows youth to explore and receive individualized guidance on 7,500 colleges and vocational schools, over 600 careers and 1,000s of available jobs, and suggests financial aid that matches their eligibility, school and program choices.

HEALTH CARE COVERAGE

Many youth don’t realize they are eligible for free health care coverage and end up paying their college for coverage when they don’t need to. iFoster can help a youth get the coverage they need to stay healthy and stay focused.

iFoster is a free, members-only online community. To register visit the “Member Sign Up” at To access these services visit http://www.iFoster.org. or call 530-550-8001 or 855-936-7837.

This suite of services has been made possible by the generous support of iFoster’s Funders and program partners. If you have a relevant resource or service that can help foster youth thrive, and are interested in becoming an iFoster partner, know a youth who can benefit from iFoster programs call 530-550-8001.

ABOUT IFOSTER

iFoster is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to providing life-changing resources that aid vulnerable children and youth. iFoster is free and can be found at http://www.ifoster.org to members of the foster, adoptive and kinship communities; youth who have emancipated out of the system: and the organizations that support them.