Our Mission

First Star has its antecedents in the USA and St Mary’s University welcomed Peter Samuelson -President and Co-founder – to start the UK development of this programme in 2016. We opened our pilot First Star Programme at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, in 2017. First Star UK was established later the same year. First Star UK’s national programme is supported by data (courtesy of The Share Foundation) illustrating cities and regions with significant numbers of Looked-after Young People across the country.


Our young people in care need your help – over 100, children enter care in England EVERY DAY.  

This is not their fault – they are not any less able, academic, motivated and capable than their peers – they are just less lucky.

 Peter Samuelson, Chair and Founder of First Star Scholars UK describes them as the last great civil rights movement that never got heard – these young people have no voice – they don’t vote, they have no money, they can’t march on parliament, go on strike, glue themselves to roads and lorries; they don’t have advocates lobbying for them and are often misunderstood and ignored by the society that stand as corporate parent to them.

We think we can make a difference if we offer educational alternatives, experiences, aspirations and ambition;  our impact and outcomes data show this is happening right here – right now – so join us and help our young people – be the corporate parent they wish for – that they need. 

Core Values

First Star Network

Discover more about our network and how you can become a part of it

We pursue our mission through innovative university-preparatory programmes, providing professional assistance to stakeholders, and advocating for policy change.
Our Mission


  • For all First Star graduates to be able to access support to sustain their mental health
  • First Star graduates all have appropriate and supportive accommodation
  • First Star graduates stay clear of the criminal justice system
  • 50% or more of First Star Scholars achieve 5 + GCSEs
  • More than 43% First Star graduates transition to HE by age 23 (mirroring their peers nationally)
  • 100% of First Star graduates secure further education, employment or training upon graduation from First Star​


Objective One

to help keep all scholars on track for GCSE and post 16 educational success

Objective Two

to provide scholars with the resources and support needed to successfully transition to Higher Education

Objective Three

to ensure scholars have the life skills and access to resources needed to prepare them for independence and adulthood

Objective Four

to engage carers and other adults who can provide long-term support to scholars as they transition to Higher Education and independence


There is no cost to virtual schools, care givers, or the local authority.

We provide 3 free meals every day. We may visit other locations during the residential and their is usually a shop on campus. The decision to provide funds to your child for the residential is entirely your choice.

All scholars stay in dorms on campus. They will have their own private room and communal area. We do not allow scholars to have sleep overs for safeguarding reasons.

Campus based programmes recruit scholars from surrounding areas. However the First Star 2U programme arranges travel via coach. You will have to meet at your collection point.

We understand that things come up. We ask all Care givers to try and get their child to attend as many sessions as possible to get the most out of the programme.

Our programmes are designed for young people at all levels of learning. Each month we deliver 6 hours of fun, interactive lessons to help young people get the grades they need for the career they want.

All programmes run for 4 years from the age of 14-18. Programmes start with a 1-4 week residential during the summer holidays. Each month after that we will deliver 6 hours of interactive session online or in person for the rest of the year.

To be eligible to join a programme the young person must have a care plan, or refugee status here in the UK, be in kinship care or have a recommendation from a virtual school.