Celebrating Academic Success for Foster Youth - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Celebrating Academic Success for Foster Youth


Madison, WISCONSIN (WXOW) – Two students from the area were recognized for completing a milestone after being in foster care.

Desiree Parker and Rowshell Young were apart of a celebration at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) graduation party, Monday.  Rowshell just graduated from Holmen High school and Parker graduated from Viterbo University.  A milestone the center celebrated with a party.

"This ceremony recognizes and honors the efforts these students have made to grow into positive and independent citizens of Wisconsin", said DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson. "These young men and women have shown the determination to better their own lives through education and are serving as role models for all of foster youths in the state."

Thirty-three graduates from across Wisconsin attended the celebration, from the more than 70 who reached commencement this year. While most of the students in attendance are celebrating their graduation from high school, two students are celebrating the completion of their Bachelor's Degree, and two students were celebrating successfully completing their Master's Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"It is important to celebrate their accomplishments, particularly since many will age out of the foster care system and be on their own after high school graduation,' continued Anderson.

Youth in foster care often face significant obstacles in achieving academic success.  Nationally, only 54% of foster youth will graduate from high school; only 2% will go onto college.  Most suffer not only the loss of their biological family, but have had to face multiple foster home moves, changes in case workers and being uprooted from friends and schools.  On average, foster kids will move 6 times between kindergarten and 12th grade.

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