The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCF) is pleased to announce that it has received a grant totaling $100,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust in support of the Maricopa Bridging Success Initiative. Bridging Success aims to advance the success of current and prospective students of the Maricopa Community Colleges who have also experienced foster care in Arizona. To support the unique experiences of foster students, the grant will allow MCCF to provide a Maricopa Bridging Success Program Coordinator focused on building student success and providing targeted support.

In 2015, the Maricopa Community Colleges, in partnership with the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, created Bridging Success to provide educational opportunities. Bridging Success supports a student’s successful transition into higher education. According to the U.S. Department of Education, children in foster care nationally are at high-risk of dropping out of school and are unlikely to attend or graduate from college. The National Foster Youth Initiative reports that only about half of youth raised in foster care end up finishing high school, with less than three percent graduating from a 4-year college.

“Bridging Success is about changing lives, changing futures and empowering students to stay in school, graduate, and meet their academic, career and life goals,” said Dr. Ray A. Ostos, District Director for Student Affairs at the Maricopa Community Colleges.

The Maricopa Community Colleges’ Bridging Success programs provide students with access to tutoring, academic counseling, career planning, skill development, and any additional support they may need. Since its inception, Bridging Success has served over 1,400 students, with an average of over 600 students enrolling in the program each year.

“This grant allows us to continue our work for our community who faced challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, including homelessness, food insecurity, mental health challenges, illness, and much more,” said Sam Garman, Bridging Success Project Coordinator. “With the partnership of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Bridging Success is working to support students who have experienced foster care and help them reach their dreams at the Maricopa Community Colleges.”

“The Bridging Success team is tenacious in their efforts to reach students across the Valley – through school districts, foster youth group homes, and support service organizations – educating the community on foster youth programs,” said Trustee Chair Carol Schilling, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. “We are pleased to continue to invest in this program and the students who are embracing the opportunity to improve their futures through higher education.”

For more information about the Bridging Success Initiative and foster youth programs at the Maricopa Community Colleges, please visit https://my.maricopa.edu/support/foster-youth.