Palmer Home Graduates Anticipate Bright Futures
This summer, high school students and their parents from all over the country will be touring colleges, pouring over class schedules and making big decisions about the future. Although the children at Palmer Home may come from differing backgrounds, their futures are just as bright.
This year, three Palmer Home for Children residents graduated from high school: one on the Columbus campus and two on the Hernando campus. With only 50% of children in foster care graduating from high school by age 18, these students have already beaten the odds. Palmer Home’s mission to rescue and restore isn’t about just beating the odds, though. It’s about helping students decide what they want the story of their life to be, and then finding a way to tell it.
The work includes offering tutoring, dual enrollment classes and ACT prep courses, as well as counselors and therapists who work with older children to make decisions about their future. When one high school senior was considering a career in commercial music, her counselor scheduled a tour of Delta State’s Delta Music Institute. Another student expressed an interest in culinary arts, so they scheduled some cooking classes.
“It’s about finding out what their interests are and finding ways to pursue it,” said Brenna Weaver, a children’s therapist at Palmer Home for Children.
Most graduates are encouraged to start their college careers at a local community college. A few, like one of this year’s graduates, are ready to move straight into a four year university experience. Still others need a little more time to decide their next steps. Counselors assist these students in finding the right job and preparing for life after high school—all while they continue to live on Palmer Home’s campus.
Regardless of where they’re headed, Palmer Home children are assured they always have a home to come back to. Counselors check in with college students at least once a month and they continue to offer access to tutors for college courses if needed. Many students return to their cottages for school breaks, falling back into family life just like many of their classmates.
Changing the cycles of drug use, abuse and neglect many Palmer Home children have experienced isn’t easy. Houseparents, counselors, and therapists on our campuses know the best opportunity our children have to succeed comes from experiencing the support of family even into adulthood.