Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- December 2, 1999

New Guardian Scholars Named, New Funding Secured

Continuing its mission to encourage and support promising and motivated young people who are exiting the foster care system and striving to earn a college degree, Cal State Fullerton's Guardian Scholars program is now in its second year with seven new scholars.

The newcomers include: freshmen Markus Burks, a biological science major; Valerie Gamez, psychology; Jose Martinez Jr., kinesiology; Candace Newman, sociology; and Jason Orellano, an undeclared major; plus transfer student Aaron Terreri, business administration. They join seven other scholars studying for bachelor's degrees in majors ranging from liberal studies to music.

Believed to be the only program of its kind in California, the Guardian Scholars effort was developed in collaboration with the Orangewood Children's Foundation. In Orange County, an estimated 700-800 youths currently are in foster care, with 150-200 young adults becoming emancipated annually.

This fall, the S. Mark Taper Foundation donated $35,000, through the Orangewood Children's Foundation, to provide five years of funding for a scholarship to a Guardian Scholar. Founded in 1989, the S. Mark Taper Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people's lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities.

"We are proud to be able to offer this excellent opportunity for such worthy students, and we are very grateful for our supporters, like the S. Mark Taper Foundation, for helping us partake in this endeavor," said Kevin Colaner, CSUF director of honors and scholars support services.

In addition to receiving financial assistance, the scholars are provided with on-campus housing and employment opportunities, counseling, peer and faculty mentoring programs, financial aid application assistance, health insurance coverage and enrollment in the university's Fullerton First Year program.

The Guardian Scholars program is expected to expand over time to comprise up to 50 students, each of whom would be eligible to receive support for up to five years while pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Program inquiries may be directed to Colaner at (714) 278-7444, or Janet Long, Guardian Scholars program coordinator, at (714) 278-7441.

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