Success Story: Pursuing Higher Education and Helping Others

Krystal shares a moment with her daughter at her college graduation.

Krystal had aged out of the foster care system determined to build a good life. So she got into college and started pursuing her degree. But shortly into her education, she encountered a problem with her financial aid. Her school’s financial aid office had contacted her claiming that they miscalculated the support she needed by $1300. They demanded she repay the money before she could continue going to school or have her transcript released to another institution. Not knowing what to do, Krystal turned to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)’s Foster Youth Justice Project for help.

TRLA advocates helped Krystal negotiate a payment plan to repay the financial aid. Because she was able to do so, Krystal went on to complete her bachelor’s degree and will graduate with her master’s in August.

But Krystal’s connection with TRLA didn’t end there. Motivated by her time as a foster youth and empowered by the help she received from the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project, Krystal has gone on to be a CPS youth specialist, volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and complete an internship at her local legal aid office. She has referred numerous foster youth to TRLA for help and identified issues in how Texas colleges process financial aid for foster youth through the use of tuition waivers. Because of her advocacy, TRLA has helped numerous other young Texans with their legal needs.

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