Group steps up to help Arizona foster children get the education they deserve

Posted at 1:23 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 16:23:56-04

Tens of thousands of Arizona's children are in foster care, and one of the biggest issues they face is getting a good education.

Maria Rodriguez knows all about the difficulties.

She's a college student now, but she had to overcome the hurdles many former foster children face to get there.

Rodriguez was forced to switch schools eight times during her first two years of high school, as she was moved from group home to group home through no fault of her own.

The moves put her behind educationally.

Then at the age of 16, her life changed.

That's when the women she now calls "mom" adopted her and told her she could do it.

Rodriguez say the support and the consistency made all the difference, "I think that just having that feeling gave me motivation to believe in myself. Because, the was the issue before; I didn't really believe in myself. I didn't have any confidence."

An organization called FosterEd wants to make sure all kids in foster kid get some of the help Rodriguez received, even if they never get adopted.

The group is working to connect foster kids with mentors in the community to advocate for each child's educational goals. Those advocates will stay working with that child even if he or she moves to a different foster home.

Earlier this year, ABC15 joined the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust to donate $100,000 to FosterEd.

You can find more information on they work they do at