First Star 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 successfully transition to higher education and adulthood. We pursue our mission through innovative college-preparatory programs, providing technical assistance to stakeholders, and advocating for policy change.
First Star University of Miami Academy is a holistic college prep program for high school students in Miami-Dade's foster care system. Housed at the University of Miami, the local Academy includes a 4-week summer residential component and Saturday programming throughout the school year for all four years of high school with a focus on academics, life-skills and caregiver engagement.
First Star University of Miami Academy is a collaboration between First Star, the University of Miami’s School of Law and School of Education & Human Development, and Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe County. The cornerstone of the UM First Star Academy is a four-week summer residential program on the University of Miami campus. The students live in on-campus residence halls and attend daily academic and life skills classes. The summer program includes field trips to local businesses, cultural destinations and social activities. The curriculum capitalizes on the expertise of UM faculty and programs across the University. During the school year, the Academy continues with Saturday academic enrichment programming and engages in school advocacy to help students stay on track for high school graduation.