Published on January 22nd, 2014 | by MelShaferHS

California State University Programs for Former Foster Youth

Since it’s college application time again, I wanted to highlight some programs exclusively for former foster youth which I have had the pleasure of being a part of at a local CSU to spread awareness that these programs are available all you have to do is apply.

These programs are designed to assist youth int heir transition to college life and provides much support both academically and financially to former foster youth. Be sure to see my previous blog on the steps and tips on applying and transferring colleges for a successful application process.

Educational opportunity program is available at all the California State Universities and all you have to do is click the appropriate space on your CSU application when you log in to the csumentor website and it will take you to the application. I was fortunate enough to have Wanda Bonnell as my advisor at CSU Stanislaus who was also the EOP coordinator there and created the promise scholars program for former foster youth. The EOP program offers summer bridge as well.

Promise Scholars
This program offers former fosters extra support and counseling through the EOP program and ensures them priority in every aspect of support at the CSU campus including registration of classes, counseling and academic advising appointments and a budget to support living expenses that scholarships and financial aid may not cover. This program provided me with the opportunity to apply for scholarships early, help with cost of books and school supplies and extracurricular events and training/volunteer opportunities. Below is a photo of my dinner with congressman Denis Cardoza on an outing with the promise scholars program (one example of the opportunities these program provides). All youth are encouraged to apply.

Summer Bridge
This program allowed me to move to campus the second month of summer break right after high school graduation, providing youth with tutoring and academic help to pass the ELM and EPT and remedial requirements for a smooth transition to first year of college. I was able to make connections to other foster youth, mentors and advisors and become acquainted with the campus class rooms and dorms and housing staff. It made my transition to college life much smoother to have support before classes even started. The connections we all made that summer have lasted throughout my college career and helped support me through everything. Being a first time freshmen on campus as a former foster youth can be very intimidating but with the help of these free programs you can be successful. See the links below and in my previous blog for more information. These are only a few local CSU campuses. If your school of choice is not listed below see the application when you log into csumentor.

CSU Stanislaus programs info

CSU East Bay

CSU Monterey

CSU Sacramento

About the Author

Melanie Shafer

College student, blogger and youth ambassador for HealthShack

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