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Family Scholar House, Passport Health Plan to provide technology for 145 foster care alumni

Dozens of young people who were formerly in foster care will soon have additional tools at their disposal to ensure a successful transition into adulthood, thanks to a new program led by Family Scholar House, a Louisville nonprofit focused on ending the generational cycle of poverty through education.

The program, “Passport to Connectivity,” is being launched in partnership with Passport Health Plan and will make it possible for foster alumni to connect and excel inside and outside the classroom.

The program will serve 145 foster alumni over a 12-month period, providing them with access to laptops and other technology, training classes and short videos to provide a basic education on how to use the technology, and high-speed internet access. While many of us have grown up in environments that provided access to multiple types of technology and internet access, for the young adults from the foster care system that are served by Family Scholar House, this is not the norm.

Ensuring equal access to educational and employment opportunities requires consideration of the technology needs that make it possible for foster alumni to actively participate in pursuing their goals.

“For many low-income students one of the greatest barriers is access to the technology that has become a critical tool in education, careers and our personal lives,” said Cathe Dykstra, Family Scholar House Chief Possibility Officer. “Passport to Connectivity recognizes the technology challenges for young adults who have exited the foster care system alone and provides them with access to laptops, connectivity and technology literacy so that they can fully participate in the classroom, the workforce, and as active members of our community.

“We applaud Passport Health Plan for recognizing the need and meeting it for the Foster alumni served at Family Scholar House.”

Passport and Family Scholar House have a longstanding history of working together to deliver programs and services that help families break the cycle of poverty through educational attainment and success.

The nonprofit organizations’ past joint efforts include: Young Adults Aging Into Healthy Behaviors, which helps young adults take ownership of their health; HEROES, which connects individuals and families to resources that address food insecurity, social isolation and post-secondary attainment; and the Riverport Area Health Initiatives Program, which promotes healthy lifestyles by providing resources to those in need.

With Passport to Connectivity, the organizations continue to build on the legacy of their partnership.

“At Passport, we focus not only on our members’ immediate health care needs but also the environmental factors that contribute to their overall wellbeing,” said Passport Health Plan CEO Scott Bowers. “Statistics show a wide range of health implications tied to social determinants such as economic stability and employment. By working to mitigate the negative impact of these social determinants, we can both improve lives and help drive down health care costs. ‘Passport to Connectivity’ equips participants with a basic knowledge of technology – an essential skill set for nearly anyone in the modern workforce.

“Young people leaving the foster care system deserve access to the same opportunities as everyone else, and this program is our way of doing our part to give them the tools they need to be successful.”

From Passport Health Plan

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