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ERIC Number: ED587546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 146
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-4381-4044-8
Success within an Unlikely Candidate: A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences of Academically Successful Youth Who Have Aged out of Foster Care
Newell, Mechele Antonette
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
For many of America's youth, completing high school and moving forward with post-secondary education is a natural path for successful living. Unfortunately, many youth in foster care experience a variety of challenges that prevent them from completing high school, entering and/or completing post-secondary education, and leading successful independent lives. This phenomenological study explored the essence of the lived experiences of youth who have aged out of foster care and have succeeded academically. The phenomenological approach allows the voices of the youth who have aged out of foster care to be heard. This study followed three streams: lived experiences, social support, and transitional support collaboratively leading youth who have aged out of foster care to academic success. In an effort to understand the experience through the eyes of those most directly affected and represented by the foster care system, phenomenology, a philosophical method that studies the pure science of a phenomenon, was the chosen methodology. Allowing youth who have aged out of foster care the opportunity to share their experiences as they recall them offers a pure account of their experiences as they happened without any bias or prejudice displayed. Primary findings of this research were that those who spend time within the foster care system are a part of a stand-alone community governed by its own set of rules, standards, and values; relationships with others played a vital role in their academic success; internal and external motivators were necessary for completing high school and moving forward with post-secondary education, and the realization that it takes a village to raise a child, shows the value in the communal effort for taking special care of this population of youth. As a result of these findings, recommendations were made. There are recommendations for social services and lawmakers to level the playing field so that all youth in foster care will have access to the same standard of care; provide and market more realistic support from post-secondary programs and schools; standardize group home academic programs, and increase in-home visits to ensure that every child's basic needs are met within the foster care system. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A