Our Executive Director Bob Gittens wrote an op-ed this summer reflecting on how the vast disparities illuminated by the college admissions scandal relate to the challenges experienced by the many youth we serve who are aging out of the foster care system. It is well-known that for youth aging out, who have no adoptive family and few ties to their biological family, higher education is less of an option than it is a dream. This is a problem we combat every day at our group homes and in the foster homes we work with, but it is a problem much bigger than any one organization alone.
Bob’s op-ed was published in the 2019 summer edition of The Provider, the newspaper published by the Providers’ Council. Below is an excerpt of the piece:
“The United States constitution protects individual rights; a person’s right to live how they want to live is an essential component of our nation’s fabric. But this country cannot thrive without also nurturing equality of opportunity. As the Declaration of Independence says, we are all 'endowed by our Creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' In recent years we seem to have lost sight of the need to ensure a level playing field for all, so our society works for everyone and not just the privileged few.
"Earlier this year I joined a group of teenagers from Cambridge Family & Children’s Service’s programs on a tour of one of Boston’s prominent universities. These are young people who have not been given any advantages. In fact, due to no fault of their own, they are in the custody of the Commonwealth’s child welfare system.
"And yet, like all young people, they have hopes and dreams for a better future. I was proud to be with them to explore the possibilities of what they could aspire to and what an education at a top tier institution could mean for them.
"After the visit we met to discuss their reactions. Overwhelmingly, they were discouraged and dejected. They were dispirited by the exorbitant costs of attending college and felt ill equipped to meet the high standards for admission at this institution. The stark, depressing message they took away from the visit was, ‘this is not a place for you.’”
We’re glad to be members of the Providers’ Council, and we’re grateful for their support of Bob’s and CFCS’s message. To read Bob’s full op-ed, click here.