September 27, 2023

Scholarship Recipient to Start Nonprofit for Budding Entrepreneurs in Foster Care

Lila Bennett grew up surrounded by love, selflessness and the importance of community. The oldest of six children, Bennett’s home was also full of foster and respite care children for whom her mother cared; more than 50 children were a part of her home throughout Lila’s childhood.

Today, Bennett is continuing that legacy with her goal to start a network of small businesses that are created by young adults within the foster care system. With the Military Spouse Scholarship allowing her the funds needed to pursue her bachelor’s in business administration at CSU, this dream will soon become a reality.

“While achieving my academic goals, I would like to utilize the skills I am gaining to create a business plan for a non-profit organization,” says Bennett. “The mission of this organization will be to assist young adults who have been a part of the foster care system, helping them to imagine, develop and showcase their business ideas. I have been inspired by my family to accomplish this venture.”

Bennett first started her college journey at age 18, but “without much support and a lack of knowledge about finances,” she decided to work full-time and revisit college later. Now, eleven years since she first started, she will finally be able to finish her college degree.

“Now, as an adult learner, I have adopted the mindset to create the opportunities afforded to me. This scholarship is the opportunity to allow my dream to be attained,” she said.

Once her bachelor’s degree is complete, Bennett plans to immediately begin her MBA with CSU.

“Being given the freedom to finish my education without obtaining more debt will allow me to put more of my income into aiding others.”

With her plans to apply her education to helping young entrepreneurs in the foster care system, Bennett will surely make a huge difference in the lives of many, much like the woman who inspired her: her mother.

“In addition to my brother and me, [our mother] adopted four more children through the foster care system. I couldn’t imagine my life without every single one of my siblings,” she said. “While I plan to adopt children of my own someday, I gladly welcome the opportunity to incorporate my love for entrepreneurship with my desire to give back to such an important part of our country’s community: the children without family support.”