Only 3% of foster care youth graduate college. Felicitas Reyes is one of them.

Photo: Vannessa Sanchez)

Only about 10% of former foster care youth will attend college, and only about 3% graduate, according to a California-based nonprofit dedicated to foster children.

But Felicitas Reyes is one of the few who have succeeded despite the very long odds.
“I’ve been very lucky,” Reyes told USA TODAY College.

Reyes just graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she finished magna cum laude — no small feat for someone from her background.

Reyes says she had two major stints in foster care while growing up, spending about a year in foster care when she was five, and another two years in foster care while in grade school.
While Reyes was in foster care for a relatively short time — some spend their entire childhood in the system — she noted that even when she was back with her parents, social workers were a constant presence.

“I’ve been connected to social workers for most of my childhood,” she says. “But I’m lucky in that I’ve always been connected to my family. I’ve never felt abandoned or unloved.”
 
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