Embark News Campaign 35

Embark Georgia: Updates and Announcements (Don't forget to visit our website for additional news)

The Embark Georgia statewide network serves post-secondary professionals and institutions to ensure connectivity, share best practices, and provide information exchange among youth, community based stakeholders, and K-12 education.


After more than a year of comprehensive investigation and website development, Western Michigan University Center for Fostering Success has just launched the national map of postsecondary education support map.. 

If you know of a Four-Year College Campus-Based Support Program, Statewide Support Organization, or State Tuition Waiver that is not on the map, please email us at fostering-info@wmich.edu.  All colleges with an active support model/program/approach should be listed on this new resource. 

Albany State University Contingent Visits White House to Support Foster Youth

By: Terry Lewis

Albany State University first lady Karen Dunning and two ASU students recently visited Washington, D.C., as the White House honored 12 former foster care youth who are making a difference in their communities. ASU students Antoinette Rucker and Bre’Anna Davis, both foster care recipients, joined youth from around the nation as they gained insight from Foster Care Youth Champions of Change such as George White, program assistant at the National Foster Youth Institute and founding member of Fostering for Change, and Nicole Dobbins, executive director of Voice for Adoption, a national advocacy organization.

Rucker is a senior majoring in social work while Davis is a senior majoring in health careers. Both will graduate in December but aim to leave a legacy on Albany State’s campus. Rucker is in the nascent stages of developing the FTC (Foster Through College) initiative that will help to establish a system of support for students associated with the foster care system.  “Foster Through College’s (FTC) goal is to represent all the foster care recipients who attend Albany State — we want to bring us all together kind of like a union.” Rucker said. “We are still just forming the group and trying to locate all the foster care recipients at the school. Our goal is to help foster recipients through college. Statistics show that having a support group gives foster recipients a better chance of making it through school.

ASU, however, is also in collaboration with Darton State College, Albany Technical College, and Washington partners to launch Embark Albany, an initiative that will positively influence students in foster care. “Eventually we’d like to help with priority housing, registering for classes, a small food and snack pantry and care packages for birthday.” Rucker said. “We’d also like to start bi-monthly support meetings. The truth is you never lose that foster care identity, once a foster child always a foster child, but we can help others establish a sense of normalcy.”

The trip to the nation’s capital left an impression on both young women. “This was my third trip to D.C. but this one was different because of Mrs. Dunning,” Rucker said. “She always makes a person feel comfortable and treated us like young adults. We were there because we want to lobby for foster care reform. I think post-secondary education is important as a whole, but to me the most important issue is a healthy transition into adulthood and getting them ready to live on their own.”

The visit to the White House was “eye-opening” for Davis. “Because of my financial circumstances, and I have never traveled much,” she said. “I’d never flown before and when we started I was really out of my comfort zone. But when we got up there and into the White House, I found myself surrounded by people who were like me. They had my story.” And that’s just the reaction that Dunning, a former juvenile court judge who is now a federal monitor overseeing Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services, was seeking. “I wanted them to see others like themselves,” Dunning said. “The 12 Champions had just graduated from college and are on paths to have successful lives and careers. Many of these foster care youths are very bright. They are smart, they just need support and guidance from caring adults.”


WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: (Georgia program spotlight)

Homeless & Food-insecure Students on Campus:

How to Engage, Serve & Support 

Cyekeia Lee is the Director of Higher Education Initiatives, with the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY).

Marcy Stidum is the Associate Director for Counseling and Psychological Services and the Director for CARE Center at Kennesaw State University. 

Amerigroup Hotline Information: (Thank you to EmpowerMEnt for the information)

Former foster youth who need to apply for Amerigroup Medicaid: call 1-800-809-7276 or apply at your local DFCS office.

*Did you know you can be insured until your 26th birthday? Tell a friend to tell a friend and get health insurance!*

If you are in care currently or have already applied for and recieved Medicaid insurance, these numbers are for you:

Georgia Families 360 Intake Line (children and youth in foster care): 1-855-661-2021

Georgia Families 360 Intake Line (former youth in foster care): 1-800-600-4441

Billing: 1-800-766-4456


Link to the Designated Points of Contacts for the University System of Georgia. 

Visit Embark Website for more information

The Department of Education has created an infographic regarding dependency status for financial aid purposes. Be sure to check it out below!
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JW Fanning Institute for Leadership Development

1240 South Lumpkin Street

Athens, GA 30602

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The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development
– a public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia – is dedicated to strengthening communities, organizations, and individuals through leadership development, training, and education.

Embark Georgia is located at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.
David Meyers and Lori Tiller are the network directors. Our offices are located at 

1240 S. Lumpkin St.
Athens, GA 30605

You may contact us by calling 706-542-1108 or emailing  EMBARK@fanning.uga.edu
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