• Foster Youth
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  • A shot of the Greenspun Hall
  • A woman wearing a yellow blazer and a black blouse.

UNLV Pathways

Empowering young adults who have experienced the foster system, housing insecurity, or homelessness.


Our Foster Youth Initiative engages young adults, who have been a part of the foster care system, to design and create a personal vision of a well-lived and productive life. To accomplish this goal, we focus on enhancing their 21st Century workforce adaptability skills, we support their relational and financial stability, and engage them in considering, designing, and creating an optimistic and successful life. Through a partnership between the Clark County Department of Family Services, MGM Resorts International and the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs, the program empowers foster youth to learn how to manage a dynamic and changing workplace through workforce adaptability, how to build and maintain meaningful and positive interpersonal relationships, and how to create their own vision and approach to living the life of their dreams.

Six different students from the Foster Youth Inaugural Cohort

Foster Youth Inaugural Cohort

Foster Youth Metrics

Each year, 23,000 youth age out of the foster care system. Once they are out of the system, foster youth face a variety of unique challenges.

20 %
We be homeless by age 18
25 %
Will not graduate high school<br> or earn a GED
25 %
Will suffer from PTSD
97 %
Will not earn a college degree
50 %
Will be unemployed by age 24

To date, there are over 4,300 youth on average in the Nevada foster care system, with over 3,000 youth within the foster care system in Clark County.

Program Approach

Our initiative creates unique and tailored solutions to the considerable and complex challenges foster youth experience. The primary goal of the program is to support each foster youth as they chart their course on creating their desired life. This personalized approach of individual attention, relational support, and guidance is scalable. Ultimately, we want to support foster youth in communities throughout the country. This unique approach focuses on several key areas that are designed to enhance youth opportunities and their overall wellness:

  • Understand skills that are essential for the changing nature of work
  • Identify and develop a mindset and skills to be adaptable
  • Discover non-linear career pathways to design a rewarding life
  • Establish approaches for stability in life and work
  • Create a vision for career and life success
  • Develop lifelong support, friendship, and mentorship networks
Two individuals at a desk, sitting across from each other.

Focus Areas

Skill Development and Knowledge

  • Understand the importance of adaptability and stability
  • Discover the value of non-linear career pathways
  • Enhance adaptive skills
  • Identify strategies for life building and navigating change

Career Recruitment and Pathways

  • Develop a professional resume, headshot and LinkedIn profile
  • Receive support with interviewing process
  • Identify strategies for designing your own life

Stability, Relationships and Advancement

  • Understand the importance of developing and maintaining long-term relationships
  • Enhance communication and conflict management skills
  • Develop and practice networking strategies
  • Identify approaches for financial and relational stability

Lifelong Support and Mentorship

  • Interact with the MGM Vice President of Workforce Development
  • Engage with faculty and students at UNLV
  • Receive individualized support to develop career materials
  • Maintain mentor and support networks

Foster Youth Experiences


“I am really interested in a stable position and having financial freedom. This program offered an opportunity for me to work for those things.”


“To me, being successful means being reliable, friendly and understanding time management.”


“Learning how to use a professional network was very helpful. I want to work for a company like MGM that offers growth and job integrity.”


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