The Illinois State University College of Arts and Sciences will sponsor its fifth Main Street College event at 7 p.m. March 21, at the ISU Alumni Center.

Director of the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State Doris Houston, from the School of Social Work, will present “Against All Odds: College Success Among Foster Youth.” Houston’s talk will be designed specifically to appeal to an external audience and is free and open to the public.

Houston will be joined by three student researchers—Lauretta Schaefer, LaShawnda Kilgore, and Verneice Prince, all of whom are former foster youth.

Under Houston’s direction, the center is taking the lead on understanding the needs of more than 350 foster youth who attend college in Illinois, working in a partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Read more about the work.

Houston also helped coordinate a student appeal to the Illinois legislature to save scholarships for college students formerly in foster care. See more about the appeal, which includes testimony from Schaefer.

Main Street College was created in 2014 with the specific goal of demonstrating the wide range of work being done in the college and how that work affects and relates to society at large. Past topics have ranged from World War II cinema to false memory.

For additional information about the event, contact Assistant Dean Deborah Fox at (309) 438-2021, or