United Friends of the Children College Within Reach Fair

Los Angeles Sparks

October 27, 2017 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Los Angeles Sparks

News Release

LOS ANGELES - More than 40 colleges and universities and over 600 Los Angeles foster youth will participate in the 18th annual College Within Reach. First launched in 1999 as part of United Friends of the Children's education program, College Within Reach is the first free college preparatory event open to all Los Angeles County foster youth in grades 7 through 12, as well as to caregivers and social workers. Today, it remains the only countywide college fair event that is exclusively for foster youth. In partnership with the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, the event will take place on Saturday, October 28th at Alumni Park located on the University of Southern California campus.

"Foster youth are entitled to the full benefits of the laws that protect their educational journey but they also deserve the access and commitment from all of us as community members who support their journey," said Dr. Kara Allen Soldati, president and CEO of United Friends of the Children.

"For the past eighteen years, United Friends of the Children has organized a collaborative event that brings together community partners, corporations, colleges and universities and inspirational leaders to ensure Los Angeles County foster youth have the knowledge, support and tools to get into college and obtain a degree."

The action-packed day begins with an inspiring opening session and a keynote address from Alex Johnson, president of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, grade-specific workshops for foster youth in grades 7-12 and the adults in their lives, and a college and resource fair to connect foster youth with supportive services and dozens of colleges and universities from across the country. To provide real-life context for attendees, College Within Reach features a panel of inspirational leaders to share their personal journeys of navigating through college preparation, selection and career choices. This year's distinguished panelists are Christine Simmons, president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Sparks and Kay Madati, former chief digital officer for BET Networks.

A team effort, the following are 2017 College Within Reach sponsors:

University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work; Los Angeles County Office of Education, Foster Youth Services and Coordinating Program; DPR Construction; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Los Angeles City Councilmember, Marqueese Harris-Dawson

College Within Reach Event Details:

What: United Friends of the Children and USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Sponsor College Within Reach, a college preparatory event for Los Angeles County foster youth When: Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where: Alumni Park located on the University of Southern California campus Who: Open to all Los Angeles County foster youth in grades 7 through 12, caregivers and social workers

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