Campus News Georgia Impact

Guest lecturer to discuss student homelessness on college campuses

Cyekeia Lee, director of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, will present the lecture “Understanding Youth Homelessness on College Campuses” Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. in the Chapel.

She will discuss ways in which higher educational institutions and communities can support young people who are homeless. The lecture is open free to the public.

About 58,000 college students identified themselves as homeless in 2012-2013, a number that likely is underreported. That same year, more than 1.2 million homeless students attended K-12 schools, according the U.S. Department of Education, which defines homelessness as “the lack of a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.” This represents a 58 percent increase since 2008. Homeless youth face numerous barriers, like gaining access to higher education and being able to complete degree programs if they are in college.

Lee works with state networks, education professionals and others to streamline access to higher education for homeless youth. Prior to joining the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, she served as a financial aid administrator at Wayne State University in Michigan, where she worked to provide financial aid to homeless youth and post-foster care students.

The lecture is hosted by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a public service and outreach unit, and Embark Georgia, a statewide initiative that serves post-secondary professionals and institutions to support youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness.