About the Program

About the Program

The Fostering Lions Program (FLP) is a support program designed to assist foster youth improve postsecondary education outcomes. The program provides a support services network to former or current foster youth attending college. The program assists foster youth in four key areas:

  1. Financial
  2. Academic and Career Planning
  3. Social/Emotional
  4. Logistic

By decreasing risk factors and increasing protective factors through the support services network, the program aims to increase the students’ educational outcomes, college retention and graduation rates, grade point averages (GPAs), personal societal contributions, and lower public health costs and economic disparity. 

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State
“My favorite part of the program is just having an extra support person and knowing that if I need something, someone is always in my corner to help me out,” Boyd said. “This is a great opportunity for kids like me in this situation — it’s great to have someone that wants us to do well and will help us get what we need.” Jonathan Boyd, FLP student

Cheri McConnell is the Coach of the Fostering Lions Program and main Point of Contact for Penn State University regarding the Fostering Independence Through Education Act tuition waiver for foster youth who qualify for the PA Chafee Education and Training Grant Program.

Cheri has a support person assigned to each of Penn State's commonwealth campuses. So, not only will you have the support offered by the Coach, but you will have a person at your campus who can assist you with all campus related issues.

The list of support then continues with an FLP Support Group at University Park where a person from each of the below areas sits on a team to assist with student needs:

Activities will vary depending on campus:

University Park:

  • Supper and Seminar Series – workshops monthly during Fall and Spring semester, there will be food and a different topic each month
  • At least one “fun” event planned both Fall and Spring semester
  • Lunch with FLP Coach once a month to stay updated – but free to seek assistance as many times as needed

All campuses:

  • Monthly zoom meetings with Cheri to go over funding, semester bills, deadlines, etc.
  • Meetings with Cheri as requested

Community Resources:


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