Reach Higher Montana Summit for Youth in Foster Care is June 13-15, 2022 in Billings

Students from throughout Montana will be gathering at Montana State University-Billings in the Student Union Building from June 13-15 to participate in the Reach Higher Montana Summit for Youth in Foster Care.

Hosted by nonprofit Reach Higher Montana and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), the free summit provides an opportunity for youth in foster care to prepare for life after high school — whether that includes being on track to graduate from high school, preparing and going on to postsecondary education or securing employment.

“We are excited to have nearly 30 youth attending this year’s summit,” said Steven Coop, Reach Higher Montana Program Manager. “We look forward to meeting students in-person, with a few attending virtually, and getting them connected with the resources they need to reach their future goals.”

Students attending the Summit will stay in dorms, eat in the cafeteria, and experience college life firsthand.

In addition, students will participate in an interactive Career Fair featuring several local businesses. Representatives will provide an overview of their business and/or career opportunities. Then, youth will each have a ‘bingo’ card to fill out at each business table and will turn the cards in the end activity with a chance to win prizes.

“This is a fun way for youth to be connected to businesses and learn more about what career opportunities might exist that meet their interests,” Coop said. “The Career Fair has been successful in the past in helping with secure job interviews and landing employment.”

In addition to finding out how to search and apply for scholarships, and apply for Education and Training Vouchers (ETVs) that provide up to $5,000 per year for education-related expenses, participants will learn essential career and life skills, including how to find and maintain employment, build relationships, locate community resources, and financial management.

“We are here to support Montana youth as they begin to make important decisions about the next chapter in their lives,” said DPHHS Director Adam Meier. “This Summit provides an excellent opportunity to learn valuable information regarding potential academic and employment opportunities and other resources that are available.”

Every student who participates will receive a laptop computer or a life skills package which consists of tools and resources to help them prepare for life after high school.

This year marks the 17th year that youth in foster care have had the opportunity to attend the summit.

For more information or to schedule a media interview contact Steven Coop at 406-880-1145 or [email protected].


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