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Three foster youth students participating in the UCR Guardian Scholars event Voice & Visions.

 

Programs

Foster youth students are welcomed and supported by a variety of programs and opportunities hosted by the Office of Foster Youth Support Services (OFYSS).

Foster Youth Community Luncheons

Foster youth students, Guardian Scholars Steering Committee members, and campus/community partners are invited to this informal monthly luncheon. This event offers opportunities to relax, get a sandwich, network and catch up with each other.

Guardian Scholars

Guardian Scholars tailors its special interest programming to benefit current students who have aged out of the foster care system. Activities include monthly, “family style” dinners in various residential restaurants, annual holiday and end-of-year celebrations, and special outings and activities. 

Guardian Scholars Summer Internship Program

Guardian Scholars participants are eligible to take part in a 10-week summer internship program. They work approximately 200 hours (or 20 hours/week) at a site of their choosing and are paid through Guardian Scholars at $15/hour. Seminars are also offered to help participants build their skills in the professional work environment. The acceptance process for the internship program — which includes an application and interview — opens in the winter quarter.

Voices & Visions

Voices & Visions is a visual and performance art event that celebrates and brings awareness to young people who have experienced foster care. Blending spoken word poetry, photography and mixed media art, Voices & Visions is a student-curated event that empowers students who have experienced foster care to tell their personal stories of resilience and success. The event is co-sponsored by the Guardian Scholars Program at UCR and the Riverside Community College District.

Lunch and Learn Series

This series provides a space where foster youth students can enjoy lunch and learn about topics that enhance their college-going experiences. Guest speakers discuss topics such as financial literacy and budgeting, social justice, identity development, and mental health.

Professional Development Seminars

Through OFYSS, students can participate in a wide range of professional development opportunities, including the Guardian Scholars seminar. This seminar fosters leadership, identity and personal development, and is held every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m. on a quarterly basis. Discussion topics include post-college goal-setting, student loan literacy, career exploration, professional dressing, interview skills and more.

OFYSS seminars support creative and collaborative personal development during the undergraduate experience. Guest speakers and weekly activities help students discover their inspiration and motivation, identify and support their abilities and interests, and connect with other Guardian Scholars.