Colleen Montoya Barbano, Director Of Fostering Scholars, Seattle University High Expectations & High Support: Preparing Youth for Post Secondary Education

Colleen Montoya Barbano's Session Is Available Until Friday, February 15 @ 05 PM EST


Colleen Montoya Barbano is the Director of Seattle University’s Fostering Scholars program, a comprehensive campus-based support program and scholarship for undergraduate students who aged out of foster care. As Director, Colleen is responsible for overall program oversight and administration, including providing direct student support and sharing effective practices for successful post-secondary retention of students who experienced the foster care system. Since its inception in 2006, Fostering Scholars has awarded 80 full-ride scholarships to current and former foster youth and has maintained a graduation rate of 80%.

Prior to joining Seattle University, Colleen worked for the City and County of San Francisco and oversaw a multidisciplinary effort to reform the city’s criminal justice response to family violence. From 2000 to 2005, she served as Director of the San Francisco Youth Commission, a county commission aimed at engaging young people in civic life and public policy. Colleen’s career in advancing the well-being of children and youth began at the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC where she served as a program coordinator of the Child Watch Visitation Program.

Colleen received her MSW from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.

Learn more about her and her work at

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© 2019 Fostering Success Summit is curated by Robin Harwick, Ph.D.