Loyola University Chicago

Center for Research on Self-Sufficiency (CROSS)

School of Social Work

First Star Academy

Program Description

Established in 2015, Loyola University Chicago's First Star Academy transforms the lives of foster youth, ensuring they have the resources and supports to thrive in school and successfully transition to adulthood.

The First Star Academy at Loyola is a four-year, year-round program that features monthly meetings during the academic year with an intensive on-campus experience over the summer. During the summer portion, students live in a residential community, engage in academic course work, and dedicate time to building life skills and nurturing their strong community. This includes time for study, reflection, and recreation at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC) in Woodstock, IL. 

Through peer and staff mentoring and referral to community resources, the program works to support students' academic achievement and personal development, and promote the realization of each student's personal, educational and career goals, specifically high school graduation and college success. 



Here are some ways YOU can get involved:

Like: Find and “Like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/firststarchicago/ then share our page with your friends.

Learn & Share: Read up and talk to your family and friends about the First Star Academy and the foster care system in general. Your voice is invaluable to help raise awareness about an often invisible population of children. Here are some resources to explore: National child welfare statistics, DCFS in Illinois, and the First Star national organization.

Give: This program operates because of the generous support from donors and grantors. Please consider giving to the First Star Academy to help continue this important work: www.luc.edu/givetofirststar.

Contact: bcouture@luc.edu and 312-915-7365.