Foster Youth

 

Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI)
The Foster Youth Success Initiative was created to help current and/or former youth from the foster care system pursue educational opportunities by having resources and supports available at each college.  
Who is eligible for Foster Youth Services?
As a Moorpark College student, you may be eligible if one or more of the following applies:

  • You are currently in foster care
  • ​You lived in a foster home or group home
  • A judge/court had you live with a friend, relative, or someone who was not your biological parent(s).
  • You emancipated/"aged out" of the system
  • You currently live or have lived in a Transitional Living Program

Assembly Bill No.194, Chapter 458 Ed Code defines Foster Youth as a person who is currently in Foster Care, and "Former Foster Youth" means a person who is an emancipated Foster Youth (out of the system) and who is up to 24 years of age.

Who can help you?
We Can!  
At each California Community College, there are staff and faculty who have worked with students who have aged out of care.  These people are committed to assisting you take the next step in your education and working as an advocate for your success. 
The Guardian Scholars Committee is a collaboration between college staff and faculty and community partners to lead the efforts in improving educational experiences of students from foster care at Moorpark College.  

The Foster Youth Connections Club is an available resource for Foster Youth Students to learn more about campus services and extracurricular activities.  The fabulous club seeks to increase services to foster care students through community engagement, student services and support and alignment of existing programs and resources.  The club is for former Foster Youth and other students without parental support with the intent of getting together to support one another to succeed.  The goals include helping you get the maximum financial support through financial aid, scholarships and grants, amongst other things.

  • You can get help with college information 
  • Have Financial Aid resources: Chafee Grant, ILP information. 
  • ​Assist you applying for money for books, Scholarship Opportunities
  • Designated Counselor(s) to guide you through your educational/career goals
  • Campus Referrals: Community Resources 
  • Counseling Services: Complete Educational Plans, Ed Planning & Academic Progress, Transfer Requirements
  • Student specific tutoring
     

How to Enroll

  1. Enroll in MP: The process to enroll in MP is the same for any student and steps for New Students is here.  These steps include completing the online application, completing orientation and assessment and applying for aid.
  2. Apply for Financial Aid: Applying for financial aid is the same for any student as you will need to complete the FAFSA; however special assistance is offered to students who are current or former foster youth.  Please contact Anaisa Alonzo, Financial Aid Specialist for more information. (805) 378-1462.
  3. Review any Scholarship Opportunities by visiting the MP Scholarship Office and discussing other financial assistance with the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Apply for EOPS (Extended Opportunity Program & Services) for additional resources such as specialized academic, career, and personal counseling, book service program, priority registration, transfer assistance, special activities and workshops.  Participants must meet EOPS criteria to qualify. 

Links to Campus Resources (Work in Progress)
ACCESS
Counseling
Financial Aid

Scholarship and Grant Opportunities for Foster Youth

California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth

May qualify for up to $5,000 a year.  Must be a current or former foster youth and not have reached your 22nd birthday as of July of the award year.  The court must have established your dependency when you were between the ages of 16 and 18.  The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will verify your foster youth eligibility status.

TEACh Fund Scholarship
Awarded to previous and current foster youth in the foster care system.

Health Services

Links to Community Resources (Work in Progress)
California Department of Social Services
Casey Family Programs
Child Welfare Services, Ventura County
CYC-California Youth Connection
Foster & Kinship Care: VCCCD
​Foster Youth Help
Foster Care to Success
Rotary Club
Scholarship Foundation: Moorpark College
Youth & Family Services-YMCA
Health
TAY Tunnel (805) 240-2538

Housing
Transitional Housing Placement Program (THPP)

Important DCFS Information

Supervised Independent Living Placement (SLIP)

The Supervised Independent Living Placement (SLIP) is a new placement option for youth ages 18 to 21.  If you are a youth in foster care placement, enrolled in college or working 80 hours per month, who turned age 18 on or after January 1, 2012, you can remain in foster care until age 20 under a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP). Beginning January 1, 2014, qualified youth can participate in extended foster care until age 21. SILP was created by California’s Fostering Connections to Success Act (also known as AB12). Upon completing a SILP Readiness Assessment, youth can receive direct financial support while living independently in an apartment, renting a room, residing in a college dorm and sharing a setting with a roommate.  Contact your ILP Coordinator or Social Worker for information on how to apply.

California Fostering Connections to Success Act

Independent Living Coordinator

An Independent Living Coordinator provides assistance to current and former foster/probation youth who are between 16-21 years of age.  The ILP Coordinator is available to help current and former foster youth.
Vincent Sosapavon
Community Service Coordinator
Independent Living Program- In-Care Youth
Children & Family Services
(805) 385-9136
1400 Vanguard Drive Suite C
Oxnard, CA 93033
vincent.sosapavon@ventura.org

Success Stories 

Student: Mariana Garcia
Business Administration student Mariana Garcia has faced a lot of adversity in her life, but travels forward with the mentality that knowledge, and education, is for anyone. 

"Growing up, because of my environment, I always assumed that you were either born smart or you weren’t. I didn’t know how to study, or earn an 'A'."

Today, Mariana thanks Moorpark’s friendly staff, especially Brandi Rieger from the Career Transfer Center, for her great strides in higher education.  “She has been very helpful to me and lets me know about resources and scholarship opportunities here on campus.”  Brandi Rieger is also the advisor for the Foster Youth Connections Club, in which Mariana, a former foster youth, is president.  “We find that a lot of foster students aren’t claiming what’s available to them, so we try to find out about resources and general student help, scholarships and EOPS opportunities.”

Mariana’s greatest advice to new students is to ask questions and find out about clubs and resources available on campus.  “I’m normally a very shy person, and I would not have tried so hard in school had it not been for Foster Youth Connection. Now I know that anyone can be an ‘A’ student. You just have to work for it.”

Mariana’s next goal is to join the Moorpark College Honors Program before transferring to a four-year university. She hopes to someday run her own business.

Student: DJ Marston
DJ has attended Moorpark College for 3 Semesters.  He chose Moorpark College because of the proximity to his home and the small college environment & good reputation. “I thought it would be best for me to find my way, give me room to explore.  Besides that classes are cheaper.”

DJ is interested in the Paramedic EMT program at VC; however plans to continue taking a few classes at MP to solidify his decision. “I have a desire to work in action-packed, intense environments that is why I find the EMT program intriguing.” 

DJ currently works in the EOPS Office as a student employee and likes having a job on campus, “I don’t have to work weekends, it’s convenient and I really enjoy helping students.” “I want all students to feel welcome at MP; that it’s important to get involved & participate; especially in sports and campus clubs.”  DJ feels that having pride in your college is important and hopes that students attend athletic activities like Baseball& Volleyball because they are invigorating and FUN!  He would love to be the campus mascot-perhaps you will see him roaming around campus in the future! 

He says, “Take time to study & prepare, use services such as the Tutoring Center and develop your study habits.”   DJ’s advice to students is to enjoy college and study hard.  “It is important to find a balance between relaxing and planning for your classes.” 
Good advice DJ!

Ways to Give 
Items such as computers, gift cards, public transportation tokens and other items you might wish to donate, can be donated to our students.  Cards & cookies, care packages & words of encouragement for students attending, graduating and transferring are also thoughtful! If you have something in particular that you would like to donate, please contact Brandi Rieger at (805) 378-1536 or brieger@vcccd.edu.  Thank you!

Photo Gallery (Work in Progress)