The Emerging Eagles Program (formerly Fostering Achievement Fellowship Program) was established to address the overwhelming need for a comprehensive support structure to assist foster youth in making the transition from a structured foster care program to independent young adulthood. The Emerging Eagles program will provide financial, academic, and social support to assist college-bound youth aging out of foster care to pursue a college education. These supports come in many forms, including individual and group meetings, the creation of educational plans, as well as the continued linkage of resources both within the TCC community and the Tallahassee community at large.
The major pillars of support that Emerging Eagles provides include the following:
Includes meeting and touring campus with Emerging Eagles ambassadors, training and workshops on TCC Passport, Canvas, and various technologies as well as eligibility for an early registration window. Students are supported and encouraged to make study groups among themselves, visit the Learning Commons for tutoring if needed, and reach out to their professors via the Passport incentive.
Emerging Eagles cohorts are supported throughout their time at TCC to create and update their career goals in order to track progress toward these goals. In addition to goal planning, work skills, personal branding, and career exploration sessions are a regular part of Emerging Eagles. Our cohorts are encouraged to visit and utilize the TCC Career Center as well as the Internship program to help them reach their goals.
A principal goal of the Emerging Eagles program is to ensure that cohorts have adequate financial resources available in order to maximize the potential for their academic success. Throughout a student's time at TCC there will be multiple opportunities to complete financial literacy workshops and training. Many students are eligible for the DCF tuition waiver or the Post-Secondary Educational Support Services (PESS) stipend, although primary responsibility for ensuring these benefits falls to the Department of Children & Families and Big Bend Community Based Care, it is the duty of Emerging Eagles to assist in ensuring that proper services are in place.
The Lunch & Learns are an engagement function with multiple purposes. First, it provides an opportunity for continued relationship-building between Eagles and their cohorts, mentors, and staff. Second, it provides a time to update students and mentors on progress in the Emerging Eagles program. Third, Lunch & Learns are an opportunity to learn more about campus, the resources students have at their disposal, and how to use them. These meetings provide a space for many workshops, training, and presentations as well as a celebration of accomplishments.
Kayla Dover, MSW