National Center for Youth Law

Press Releases

FosterEd: Arizona Recognized at Scripps Howard Award Banquet

For Immediate Release

Pete Hershberger
Director, FosterEd Arizona
(520) 724-8397
April 29, 2016

Phoenix, AZ – FosterEd: Arizona was honored at the annual Scripps Howard Award Banquet, a journalism award ceremony dedicated to a free press and the Scripps Howard Foundation’s purpose of “Giving Light. Changing Lives.” As part of the award ceremony, Scripps Howard partners with a local funder to co-sponsor an impactful grant to a nonprofit agency and the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) was selected for FosterEd’s work in Pima County, Arizona. The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust partnered with the Scripps Howard foundation to make the grant which totals $100,000.

“We are very honored by this recognition,” said Pete Hershberger the Director of FosterEd: Arizona. “We feel aligned with the Foundation’s purpose and hope we are changing the lives of some of Arizona’s neediest children.”

The documented need for initiatives like FosterEd: Arizona is great. According to a new report released at the end of last year, Arizona students in foster care persistently underperform academically compared to their other classmates. Arizona’s Invisible Achievement Gap, shows that students in Arizona’s foster care system trail all other students—even those identified with academic risk factors such as low socioeconomic status, limited English language proficiency, and disabilities.

“This grant comes at an important time for FosterEd: Arizona,” according to Michelle Francois Traiman the National Director of FosterEd. ”We are currently working with our partners to take the FosterEd framework statewide in Arizona and this grant will surely help.” Representative John Allen, with support from the Governor, has introduced HB 2665 that has been approved by the House and is currently awaiting action in the Senate. The bill establishes the Foster Youth Education Success Fund and authorizes a $1,000,000 appropriation from the General Fund as well as a dollar for dollar match of state funds with philanthropic funds up to $500,000.

NCYL launched its Pima County demonstration site in 2014 with local education, child welfare, behavioral health and judicial agencies. The project has improved educational outcomes for school-age foster children living in Pima County and serves as a model for a statewide program that will support the educational success of all Arizona foster children. The project is overseen and supported by child welfare, education and judicial agencies with a shared vision for improving education outcomes for foster youth.

Local partners include Arizona Children’s Association, Casey Family Programs, Children’s Action Alliance, Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, DCS Pima Region, , Attorney General’s Pima Region, Indigenous Strategies, Pima County Juvenile Court, Pima County Community Services, Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, Pima Joint Technological Educational District, Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson Unified School District and the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.