Rapid Response is a safety net program for college students with foster care experience that quickly addresses the challenges threatening a youth's ability to transition to and through college in pursuit of a career.

Our purpose is to eliminate barriers that hinder current and former foster youth from continuing with their post-secondary education.

Alongside our network of partners, we are dedicated to changing the legacy of college foster care students through empowerment, personal and professional development, and events-based fundraising.

Together We Rise relies on support from trusted agencies to provide assistance to the foster care community. We are actively looking to partner with higher education institutions, nonprofit agencies, and government services providers as we address educational inequality in the foster care community.

As an authorized partner, agencies can refer eligible students to TWR for emergency funding that addresses basic needs such as technology to access college courses, educational expenses, utilities, and grocery support. Apply today by clicking on the Agency Application below!

housing assistance

Housing Assistance

meal assistance

Meal Assistance

utilities & personal expenses

Utilities & Personal Expenses

transportation & relocation costs

Transportation & Relocation Costs

education & technology expenses

Education & Technology Expenses



For more information about our Rapid Response program, our application process, program qualifications, and more please visit our FAQ.

Learn More

Agency Application

Apply to become an authorized referral agency. Once approved, you can refer a student for basic needs assistance.

Learn More


Looking for assistance? We compiled a list of national and state based resources to help you through this time of crisis

Learn More
how you can help

How You Can Help!

With over 430,000 kids in foster care nationwide, we need everyone's help. Check out some of the ways you can support foster youth and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Have a question?

Crisis for College Foster Youth
They Need Your Help!

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Together We Rise amassed community resources to address the urgent needs impacting the college foster care population. National pre-pandemic studies have shown that natural disasters negatively impact college enrollment and student success rates, only worsening the graduation rate of our college foster care population (3-11% college success rate for foster care). As we continue to navigate through these tough times, our mission of supporting individuals in foster care remains our top priority. With your support, we can continue to provide services that address the urgent needs preventing students from lifelong success.


COVID-19 News

Check out the current resources offered
to foster youth and their families.

Download our Rapid Response Media Kit


Learn how you are making a difference in the lives of people in the foster community.

"Once you age out there is no one. It’s just you looking out for you. I can’t thank Together We Rise enough for helping me move. My life could have been real complicated without a place to stay and I can breathe not having to worry about that."

- Jake B. from Sacramento, CA

"One day you’re in class and people are just talking about the coronavirus and the next you have to leave campus. It’s not like my friends who can go home. Campus is my home and I had one week to leave. Together We Rise is helping with a place to stay, school, food. All these things that I fought so hard to have. I am grateful they are here."

- Michelle from, New York, NY

"I'm speechless. I'm a pre-med student with dreams of becoming an OB/GYN. After working 3 jobs and trying to get through undergrad, I burnt out and was left with a substantial financial balance. It's been 3 years that I have been trying to get back in school. Because of the generosity of Together We Rise, Oregon State University was willing to take a chance and make me an active student again! I almost gave up on my dream of becoming a doctor. Organizations like this mean hope. I'm forever grateful for Together We Rise!"

- Jay from Las Vegas, NV

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Rapid Response Program?

A safety net program for college students with foster care experience that provides flexible resources to quickly address the challenges threatening the student’s ability to transition to and through college.

What are the eligibility requirements to access the program?

All of the following criteria must be met:

  • Individuals must be a current or former foster youth age 17 or older regardless of their length of time in care. (For eligibility purposes, foster care status includes kinship care, adoption, and probation youth with an order for out-of-home placement).
  • Individuals currently enrolled at a college or university regardless of credit attainment, GPA, or academic standing. High school and GED seniors may qualify for this program with limited funding.
  • The eligible student has an urgent need that, if not addressed, would prevent them from continuing with their college education.

No exceptions will be made for individuals that do not meet the eligibility criteria. Students will not be eligible to self-refer. No age cap is placed on the student applicant.

What types of expenses will the program pay for?

The program provides basic needs including housing, meal assistance, educational technology, transportation, personal utilities, and other emergency needs related to the student’s academic success.

How does the safety net program work?

Agencies must first apply to become an authorized referral agency. Approved agencies will then be able to submit a student referral to Together We Rise (TWR). TWR will assess the students’ needs and provide the resources necessary to address the students’ requests.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact RR@togetherwerise.org or submit an inquiry through our Contact Us page. A TWR member will promptly respond to each inquiry. TWR office hours are from Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm Pacific Standard Time.