Alamo Colleges to help fostered, adopted youth get higher educations with new program

P.A.T.H. Program currently has about 400 fostered and adopted youth in the higher education program

SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo Colleges District is making sure fostered and adopted youth know they aren’t alone and have the opportunity to get a college education.

The Partnering, Assisting & Transforming for Higher Education — or P.A.T.H. — Foster Youth Program began in 2019 and has since grown to help close to 400 fostered and adopted youth.

“With anything from eliminating barriers to the first steps of enrollment, we serve as a liaison for our students,” grant project director Nathalie Riojas said.

One student taking advantage of the program is Andrea Contreas. She aged out of the foster system and later sought higher education as a way to make a better life for herself and her kids.

From rental assistance to help with getting a new laptop, Contreas is appreciative of the guidance and support she gets from the program.

“I’m not by myself, I have help and it definitely really motivates me and have a positive mindset,” Contreas said.

The program is also having a high graduation success rate compared to the 3% national average for fostered and adopted youth.

“Within the Alamo Colleges, what we’ve been tracking is that our percentage is at six percent,” Riojas said. “I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but in the grand scheme it’s extraordinary.”

P.A.T.H. is hoping to encourage more students to get a college education and any foster or adoptive youth looking for more information can visit their website.


About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Recommended Videos