First Star Academy

KVC West Virginia First Star Academy

Empowering West Virginia Youth

More than 15,000 18-year-olds age out of foster care without finding a permanent family or home. Nationwide, only half of youth in foster graduate high school and less than three percent graduate college. Youth who age out of foster care without a permanent family or home often face overwhelming life challenges such as homelessness, incarceration and/or chronic unemployment.

As a leading-edge, four-year, comprehensive program, First Star KVC West Virginia Academy helps high-school-aged youth before and during their transition out of foster care into adulthood. Our First Star Academy aims to uplift and empower youth to achieve their dreams of academic success and higher education.

Contact Walter Swoope at wswoope@kvc.org for more information or to refer a student. 

About First Star Academy KVC West Virginia

KVC West Virginia First Star AcademyFirst Star KVC West Virginia Academy is an immersive academic, college prep, opioid/drug education and mentorship program for students enrolled in 8th through 12th grade who are currently in foster care. Participating youth will learn about the many different pathways to higher education and how they can contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. This program is offered at no cost to students who qualify.

Students will gain access to invaluable resources that will improve their high school experiences and outcomes. They will also learn about post-secondary or technical/trade education opportunities. Some of these resources include:

  • Virtual seminars and workshops, including guest speakers
  • Life skills classes
  • Evidence-based academic practices
  • Care and case management
  • Therapy
  • Other individualized supports

This program is being developed in partnership with First Star, a national nonprofit working to ensure youth in foster care have the academic, life skills and adult supports needed to successfully transition to higher education and adulthood. Ninety-eight percent of First Star students graduate high school and 90 percent enroll in higher education via two- or four-year colleges or vocational schools.

Know a student who may benefit from these services? 

Participants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Able to speak English
  2. Youth enrolled in 8th – 12th grade
  3. Currently placed in foster care

Contact Walter Swoope at wswoope@kvc.org for more information or to refer a student. 

Program Partners

first star

First Star, a national nonprofit, improves the lives of youth in foster care by partnering with child welfare agencies, universities, and school districts to ensure youth in foster care have the academic, life skills, and adult supports needed to transition to higher education and adulthood successfully. First Star pursues its mission through innovative, university-based college-preparatory programs, providing technical assistance to stakeholders, and advocating for policy change.