Youth in foster care living in residential and foster parents placements, need a way to graduate high school and successfully transition out of foster care with the social and non-cognitive skills needed to THRIVE in college and career, so that they can become self-reliant. TasselTurn is a social community that connects youth in foster care to college and career through web-based educational coaching, social-emotional curriculum, and capstone projects.
TasselTurn is a technology-based social impact organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for homeless and foster involved students through educational attainment. Through a unique, hybrid virtual academic coaching model, combined with social-emotional curricula, and innovative technology products, like the MyTurn mobile and web app, TasselTurn connects students to their own Education Coach, who provides personalized support starting in high school, and continuing to graduation, where students transition into college or begin meaningful careers.
It’s called educational displacement. On average, youth in foster care change schools three times a year, each change results in four to six months of educational loss. This type of mobility places foster involved students years behind their non-foster peers. As a result, youth in foster care become more vulnerable to dropping out of high school. Forty-three percent of children in foster care will drop out of high school. In the United States, less than ten percent of youth in care age out with high school diploma. Youth who age out of foster care without at least a high school diploma will become incarcerated, unemployed, or homeless within twenty-four months of leaving foster care. TasselTurn changes this narrative.
High School Graduation Rates
TasselTurn is meeting youth where they are — on the internet! Our streamlined e-coaching platform matches youth to a TasselTurn education coach. Coaches are near peer, college-experienced, and are trained in Motivational Interviewing. Coaches facilitate our proprietary trauma-informed curriculum, designed to help youth develop the non-cognitive skills necessary for healthy foster care exits and life outcomes.
We begin working with youth in the 8th grade because research shows that if a child in foster care is not adopted by the age of 13, they will likely remain in foster care and eventually ‘age out’ of the system. Coaches commit to serving 2-year terms and coach students throughout their high school years, working to ensure youth graduate high school employed or enrolled.
Individuals without a high school diploma or college degree on average earn $15,000 less annually. Youth in foster care deserve better outcomes and an improved track towards independence.
• Schools teach all students the same, but all students don’t come from the same background. Our trauma-informed curriculum takes into consideration the individual experiences that youth in care face and teach with it in mind; we don’t ignore it
• The curriculum is determined by grade level. Curriculum for each grade level explores a new theme that teaches youth a new skill that will help them become independent upon leaving foster care
• Coaches guide youth through curriculum
• Our primary focus is educational attainment– our coaches coach youth to high school graduation
• We close the achievement gap
• Completing high school gives youth access to additional opportunities: post-secondary education, vocational training, employment, apprenticeships
• We collect real-time data that help child welfare agencies implement effective strategies that provide better outcomes
• We are the first streamlined service to exclusively meet the educational needs of youth in foster care
• Through data we provide enduring adult connections to youth– we track the meaningfulness, consistency, and scope of the connection between youth and education coach
We incorporate elements of gamification into our curriculum to reinforce skills mastered. Our leaderboard allows students to unlock achievements, earn points, and communicate with their coach and other students in our global community. Schools and agencies are able to monitor student engagement and track quantitative and qualitative data on students’ progress and implement early-interventions as a response to students who have not mastered the necessary skills to graduate successfully.
SUPPORT OUR WORK
Help youth in foster care graduate high school with a plan to enter college and career. Contribute a one-time gift, or become a monthly donor, and help us coach youth all year long.