Public Affairs

CSU Fosters Awareness of Former Foster Youth

CSU Fosters Awareness of Former Foster Youth

By CSU Public Affairs
May 25, 2010

May is National Foster Care Month, and the California State University is highlighting the incredible stories of struggle, survival and success. The CSU is collaborating with other state colleges and universities in a statewide digital stories project to provide former foster youth an opportunity to record 3-5 minute videos retelling their experiences. Below are two examples.

Mario Keener’s world turned upside down when his father was deported and he was separated from his siblings. He is now a student at San José State and a student leader in CME Society, a program for former foster youth that provides academic and financial support. Watch Mario tell his story here.

Between the ages of one and 17, Stephanie Serrano lived in ten foster homes and two group homes. She is now a graduating senior at Cal Poly Pomona and a Renaissance Scholar. Watch Stephanie tell her story here.

These incredible students are not alone. Campuses report that around 1,100 students from foster care currently attend a CSU university. The CSU is also a leader in the California College Pathways, which the Stuart Foundation funded in 2008. California College Pathways is dedicated to increasing the number of former foster youth in California who enter higher education and achieve positive academic outcomes.

Earlier this month, on May 3, the CSU participated in a gathering of hundreds of children, youth, families, advocates, child welfare officials and policymakers at the State Capitol in Sacramento. The event, sponsored by the California Foster Care Month Coalition, had the goal of focusing attention on the needs of foster youth. To learn more about supporting foster youth, please visit