The First Star Kent State Academy is a free, comprehensive four-year college access program for youth in foster care impacted by the opioid crisis.

The Academy offers a 4-week residential summer Academy where youth live on the Kent State Campus and receive academic support, enrichment, and the encouragement needed to excel during the upcoming academic year and in the transition to young adulthood. Unfortunately, as a result of COVID19, the Academy is being held in a virtual format and will remain virtual until further notice. Nonetheless, the First Star staff are committed to creating an enriching and engaging experience for our scholars.

The program engages a cohort of up to 30 students in a variety of engaging and active learning opportunities that include academic support, career exploration, social and cultural activities, field trips, service learning, and many recreational activities. While the method of engaging the students has changed to a virtual format, the same opportunities are given.

In addition to the summer academy, students and their adult supporters will engage in a variety of interactions monthly, including virtual Saturday academies during the academic year.

3xhigher high school dropout rates for foster youth than other low-income children
88%of First Star Scholars Enter Higher Education
98%of First Star Scholars Graduate High School

Who Is First Star?

First Star, a national non-profit, improves the lives of foster youth by partnering with child welfare agencies, universities, and school districts to ensure foster youth have the academic, life skills, and adult supports needed to transition to higher education and adulthood successfully. We pursue our mission through innovative, university-based college-preparatory programs, providing technical assistance to stakeholders, and advocating for policy change.


Contact Us

Phone Number: 330-672-3039

Academy Director
Danielle Green-Welch, M.Ed, Ed.S