“I think First Star still helped me find my way. I’m doing travelling, working and I think I’m at the happiest place we’ve all been in a long time, and I think it’s kind of nice to have people you can go to, to talk about your problems when you’re with other friends no one really understands where you came from” 

Guardian Scholar 

About First Star

The First Star programme encourages ambition and empowers young people from care backgrounds to believe they belong in higher education.

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 Scholars


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Core Values

Aspiration: Young People in Care to enter higher education.

Support: Young People in Care to succeed in GCSE and post 16 education.

Challenge: Involve universities, educators, social services and carers.

Collaboration: Leverage collective intent and aspiration – political, educational, and philanthropic.

Accountability: Challenge universities, society, schools, local authorities and our own programmes to be accountable for progress of young people.

Make a difference: To the lives of Young People in Care / Care experienced young people

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.