MIAMI -

 Hundreds of community leaders are celebrating the graduations of Miami foster youth.
  

A ceremony was held at the University of Miami on Saturday to honor nearly 100 students graduating from high school, college, and trade school.
  

University of Miami President Donna Shalala told the crowd the task of preparing students who are aging out of foster care for college and adulthood is especially challenging. She lauded their achievements as a momentous step.
  

Experts say only about half of more than 400,000 foster kids in the U.S. receive a high school diploma.
  

The annual event is sponsored by Our Kids, the Department of Children and Families and the University of Miami.