BENEFITING: U C RIVERSIDE FOUNDATION
ORGANIZER: UC RIVERSIDE
EVENT DATE: May 18, 2017
SUPPORT THE UCR GUARDIAN SCHOLARS' VOICES & VISIONS 2017!
A fundraiser to educate and empower foster youth.
MAKE A GIFT TODAY AND IT WILL BE MATCHED ONE-TO-ONE! Double the impact of your gift thanks to the Pritzker Foster Care Initiative's Matching Challenge Grant and helps us to raise funds, inspire advocacy, and educate our community about the unique gifts and goals of our foster youth.
I have been involved in Guardian Scholars since my amazing wife founded the program in 2008. The Guardian Scholars provides a network of resources to students who are transitioning from foster care to adulthood in college. The program now supports 33 students who are given the opportunity to thrive as adults and as college students with the help of scholarships, educational resources, emotional support, and networking through the Guardian Scholars. First-year and junior-year students complete a professional and personal development seminar. At least once each month, the Guardian Scholars spend a day or evening together, going bowling or visiting local sights (we recently toured the Museum of Tolerance). And of course each spring, we have an awesome weekend retreat in Big Bear.
The students in the Guardian Scholars are just like other college students--some are incredibly industrious and others are slackers. They go through all of the usual issues of transitioning to adulthood: negotiating friendships and romantic relationships, trying to find their professional pathways, working to graduate. But they do this all without the support or resources of family members, and often with histories of educational disruption (foster youth in California attend an average of seven different high schools!) and of trauma and/or neglect. It's a credit to these amazing youth and this fantastic program that the average GPA for Guardian Scholars is higher than the overall average GPA at UCR and they graduate at a higher rate.
All of this is only possible through YOUR support. Donations help fund scholarships, access to mental health and physical health resources, and monthly social and team-building activities. In addition, the Guardian Scholars offers supplemental support services to foster youth between ages 13 and 18 in the form of text book assistance, information and referrals, and quarterly check-ins.
At 7pm on May 18, 2017, the UCR Campus Barn will resonate with foster youths’ stories and photographic images that challenge stereotypes, honor survival, and celebrate success. I hope you will consider making a gift to this innovative fundraiser for foster youth, and also join us to hear and see their stories.