Treehouse’s Graduation Success program aids Clark County foster teens


Over 100 youth who have experienced foster care in Clark County are benefitting from Graduation Success by Treehouse, a nonprofit organization providing multiple programs for foster youth, this year.

The program provides counseling, clothing and financial aid to youth and their families to ensure a successful start to adulthood.

“Our goal is to make a normal as possible experience for high school-aged youth,” educational specialist Stephanie Macomber said.

Treehouse began operations in Washington in 1988 and offers a variety of programs to teenagers in foster care or who have been in foster care at one point during their adolescence. In addition to Graduation Success, Treehouse offers specialized programs for incarcerated youth, high school graduates and tribal teenagers.

Treehouse implemented the Graduation Success program in Clark County in 2019. From 2022-23, Treehouse served 6,759 youth in Washington, and 171 youth in the Graduation Success program received their high school diploma or GED.

Treehouse is currently working with Northern Clark County foster youth in Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground Virtual Academy, Hockinson High School, River HomeLink, Prairie High School and Ridgefield High School, content and public relations manager Katie Adams said.

The Graduation Success program provides a variety of resources and funding for normal, important aspects of the high school experience. Offerings range from career counseling to driving school, Macomber said.

When youth or guardians first come to Treehouse, they’re often unaware of the opportunities the Graduation Success program offers, Macomber said.
“A lot of the youth don’t know what to ask for. They don’t know what we have available. Once they’re educated on what we can offer them, I’ve noted that hair care is requested a lot. Driver education is also requested frequently,” Macomber said.

One of Treehouse’s larger projects each summer is the Back-to-School Pop-Up, hosted each August in Clark County. Treehouse opens a mini-store, filled with purchased and donated items, where youth and their guardians can browse a variety of clothing, backpacks and school supplies for free.

Macomber believes that many of these little things help give foster youth a sense of normalcy despite their uncertain environment. A haircut or fresh set of clothing can make a difference for youth experiencing stressful situations, she said.

“They’re not only dealing with the trauma of what caused them to be removed from the home, but they’re constantly dealing with new places,” Macomber said.
After receiving a referral from a social worker or school, workers at Treehouse continue meeting with the assigned youth to assess their needs and provide support, whether they leave the foster care system or stay until graduation, Macomber said.

“It’s about building relationships and connections with the youth. In our program, once I get a referral, I stay with them until they achieve educational success, whether that’s a diploma, a GED or something like that,” Macomber said. “Watching them grow is super fun.”

Many of the youth Treehouse aids move from foster to foster for various reasons. The constant change causes additional trauma, and the youth require additional support as a result, Macomber said.

“I think people would be surprised by the amount of times youth have to move placements. During the pandemic, I had one youth that moved once a month during the pandemic. It was simply because she was staying in places that would only allow her to stay for 30 days,” Macomber said.

A portion of Macomber’s time is spent directly counseling the students with whom she works. Besides assessing their needs, she offers career counseling and the post-graduation opportunities available.

“I try to educate them on what programs have to offer and what they can use,” Macomber said. “I show them different scholarships and help them navigate if they want to go to a trade school.”

After the Graduation Success program, Treehouse offers a young adult program called Launch Success. Launch Success helps youth select education paths, complete financial aid forms, create resumes, find resources to support basic needs and provide financial education.

Though Treehouses programs are performing well, Adams said the nonprofit’s current capabilities are thanks to the public’s support. Treehouse is always seeking skilled volunteers and hosts for material donation drives.

To sign up as a Treehouse volunteer, visit To host a donation drive, visit Treehouse also has a wish list for donation items at

All offerings included in the Graduation Success program can be viewed online at