TURLOCK – The Promise Scholars Program at California State University, Stanislaus, that seeks to provide emancipated foster youth with greater access to higher education, has received an appropriation of $285,000 from the federal government. The appropriation was included in the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations bill that was signed into law on March 11 by President Obama.
The $285,000 in federal funding will help CSU Stanislaus expand its Promise Scholars Program to provide college admission, guidance, housing, and counseling resources to a greater number of high school graduates from foster care situations.
“The Promise Scholars Program offers college-bound students from foster care situations the chance to fulfill their aspirations when they have the motivation, but not the means, to earn a University degree,” said Dr. Ham Shirvani, President of CSU Stanislaus. “The program can play a vital role in the lives of truly needy individuals working to become accomplished and successful citizens and overcome the hardships of their childhood.”
Shirvani continued, “All of us at CSU Stanislaus truly appreciate the ongoing support from our former student, Congressman Dennis Cardoza. He continually demonstrates his dedication to the University and the Central Valley, most recently by securing funding for our Promise Scholars Program to help foster youth. There are more great things to come as we continue to work with him on other projects.”
Dennis Cardoza, U.S. Representative for California’s 18th Congressional District, said, “As a father of three, I have long supported education for our youth, especially those in need of some additional attention. I was pleased to have been able to obtain these funds for the Promise Scholars. I look forward to continuing to work with CSU Stanislaus and doing all I can to ensure its program is a success.”
Established in 2006 at CSU Stanislaus, the Promise Scholars Program currently includes 28 students who come from a variety of foster care backgrounds and receive financial assistance and encouragement to attain their educational goals. Three students have earned their degrees so far.
The successful program aims to provide youths from foster family backgrounds the opportunity to build a better future through higher education. Those who graduate from the program go on to lead productive lives as well-educated contributors to the economy in California’s Central Valley. Estimates indicate that 20 percent of all foster children in the United States (more than 100,000) reside in California.