Foster Teens in this State will go to college for free, under new state program

Antania Goff remembers thinking, “This is my first step to changing my life,” when she opened her acceptance letter from St. Cloud State University.

Goff knew exactly what she wanted to do with her degree: Open a transitional home for teens in the foster care system. She dreamed of providing young people with the support she needed when she was younger, after entering foster care as a toddler and moving from home to home throughout her childhood and teen years.

But Goff had to delay that goal after her junior year of college. While she received some monthly payments through Minnesota’s extended foster care program, they didn’t cover all her living expenses. With no family to provide additional financial support or help her adjust to adult life, Goff was totally on her own.

Goff said her health suffered as she worked nearly full-time while taking a full class load, and she was exhausted from coping with the trauma of childhood abuse while managing her demanding day-to-day responsibilities. Her grades fell, jeopardizing her spot at the university.

“If something goes wrong, it falls on me. I’m all I’ve got,” Goff said. “Last spring semester, I just broke.”

Goff, now 22, is now taking a break from college to recover and consider her next steps — but she’s determined to be back at school before long…

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