Guardian Scholars: Former Foster Youth

Students at Former Foster Youth Luncheon

Providing Support for Former Foster Youth 

The Guardian Scholars Program provides services to current or former foster youth (FFY) attending Sierra College. Our goal is to equip and empower them to not just do well academically, but also navigate the many life and financial challenges that are barriers to their success. 

Services

Professional staff and peer advisors, in partnership with a variety of on-campus departments and external agencies, work to best meet their academic and personal needs. Collaboratively, our goal is that these Former Foster youth realize that college is an option, and turn their dreams into reality by offering:

  • Counseling Services (Academic, Personal, and Career counseling)
  • Financial Aid Priority Processing (FAFSA application assistance, grants and scholarships)
  • Book vouchers (through John Burton Foundation) for qualified applicants
  • CAFYES - enhanced services
  • On-Campus housing (ten dorm beds each semester for qualified FFY students)
  • Room bedding and furnishings for students who are selected to live in the dorm/residence hall
  • Care-Packs filled with basic hygiene and school supplies
  • College Transfer Assistance (transfer counseling services, college tours, referral to University reps)
  • Tutoring
  • Mentorship
  • Printing Scholarships
  • Graduation Cap & Gown and GSP Sash
  • Graduation Pictures
  • Each Semester recognition ceremony for academic success (for students above 3.0 GPA)
  • Recognition at the end of each year for all Guardian Scholars
  • Access to On-Campus food closet
  • Linkage to campus and community resources 

Qualifications

Initial Program Eligibility

  • Complete Sierra College Application through CCCApply
  • Must be highly motivated student who has at least one day of foster care experience from 0-18 years old (e.g. foster home, group home, or placed with a relative by the court)
  • Must provide Ward of Court Document to GSP office 

Continuing Students Eligibility Requirements

  • Maintain continuous enrollment at Sierra College
  • Meet with a GSP Counselor three times per semester
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA or above
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 units
  • Participate in at least one program activity or workshop provided by the Guardian Scholars Program
  • Agree to staff monitoring of academic performance and progress
  • Attend academic intervention services as recommended by the GSP counselor
  • Abide by all college standards for appropriate conduct and community behavior
  • Meet with mentor once a month (for freshmen students; optional for second year students)

How to Apply:

Fill out the application:

GSP Application

If you need help, we are located on the
Rocklin Campus in L144. (Winstead)

Anyone can get involved

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Mentoring
  • Job Placement/internships
  • Housing Placement
  • Professional services
  • Workshop/training

Make a Gift to Guardian Scholars Program

The Sierra College Foundation handles gifts. More information is available at this Foundation web page.

Donate

Why We Are Here

In 2014, Sierra College decided to update its Student Equity Plan to ensure that groups historically underrepresented in higher education have an equal opportunity for access, success, and transfer as defined by the California Community College (CCC) Board of Governors student equity policy (1992). In efforts to provide a challenging and supportive learning environment for students having diverse goals, abilities, and needs, Sierra College collaborated with the Sierra College Research and Planning Office to utilize several research methods to assess the five state-defined success indicators for all students. Out of the five state-defined success indicators as well as additional locally defined indicators for all students, Former Foster Youth showed disparate impact and required intervention in all areas reviewed.

Every year in California, an estimated 4,000 foster youth transition from dependents of the foster care system into emancipated adulthood at age eighteen. These former foster youth (FFY), generally grow up in numerous homes with few life skills or tangible items to call their own.

  • 65% emancipate without a place to live.
  • Less than 3% go to college.
  • 51% are unemployed.
  • Many of these youth lack life skills.
  • Government loans do not cover college expenses during the freshman year.

Annually at Sierra College, 75 – 125 FFY pursue their dreams of higher education:

  • Most arrive on campus with their worldly possessions in a black trash bag.
  • Many without a place to live.
  • And even if they are provided housing, they do not have bedding, towels, hygiene items, food, school supplies, and other necessary items.
  • They face a minimum of $2,000 per year for books, parking permit, and school supplies, etc.
  • Their cost of living exceeds $4,000 per semester.

Contact Guardian Scholars

Rocklin Campus L 144