During the COVID-19 crisis, Emily Miller at UTSA is working to build up resources for over 100 college students who were formerly in foster care. Some of these students are from Devine, Castroville and surrounding areas.
Miller, who is the Associate Director of the Fostering Educational Success program at UTSA told us a little about their mission.
“Many of the students we serve are kids who aged out of the foster care system without being adopted. So their family support tends to be limited and they often have few community connections,” Miller said.
“With COVID, I’ve already gotten questions from some of these students asking—‘What do I do if I lose my job and can’t pay my rent next month?’”
A lot of the students in the Fostering Success Education Program have jobs in the food service industry, for example, which is being hit hard by COVID-19.
“The reality is a lot of these students are reaching out to me first, because they do not have anyone else to go to,” Miller said. “We are their family, and we are looking to build up our resources to help, as it’s more important than ever right now.”
“A lot of our students also depend on being able to get personal hygiene items from our pantry. I am hoping that we can put together care packages with personal hygiene items for students in our program,” Miller adds. “There is a huge need for that right now, because toilet paper and personal hygiene items are in short supply here just like they are everywhere else.”
The Fostering Educational Success Center helps students impacted by the foster care system with things such as rent, vehicle repairs, medical bills, personal hygiene items. But their primary goal is also to “Connect face to face with our students to help them learn life skills, job coaching, resume building and just being a positive adult in their life.”
You can contact Emily at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook messenger through the Fostering Educational Success Center’s page.
Emily is the daughter of local teachers Jeff and Sharie Miller of Devine.
“We are extremely proud of our daughter Emily for continuing to serve such an important need in our society,” the Millers said. “She has always had a heart for those underserved since she began her social career as a college student. It has been extremely humbling to watch her grow whether it has been through serving the homeless, underprivileged children, and now those transitioning from foster care. We are so proud of her willingness to always step up and do what most would not consider. UTSA is a great fit for her, and she is extremely excited for this opportunity!”