Boys & Girls Club

April 6, 2009 by · Comments Off on Boys & Girls Club 


Dollars for Scholars For Foster Kids

April 6, 2009 by · Comments Off on Dollars for Scholars For Foster Kids 

On any single day in San Diego County approximately 7,000 kids are living in an “out-of-home” placement through the Foster program. Of the kids who leave the program after reaching age 18, between 60-70% end up homeless in San Diego and 60% of the women will have become pregnant by the age of 20. Only 5% of such former foster children will go on to college and only 2% will earn a college degree. We are trying to help these kids make a productive life.

Dollars for Scholars Walk for Education

Dollars for Scholars is a non-profit national organization whose purpose is to expand educational opportunities for youth. Our chapter is providing assistance to a special group of children in our community that need our support at a crucial time in their lives. Our mission is to assist the young adults of the foster care system, children who, upon turning 18 years old, lose all funding sources for housing, food, and post-secondary education. Some of these students dream of continuing their education to better their lives and to make a positive contribution to their communities, but with very little resources financially and emotionally, even the very best students often drop out of the educational system. Our goal is to expand the educational opportunities for these foster students by providing them financial support and adult mentoring.The common element in Dollars for Scholars chapters is community-based fundraising for scholarships awarded to local students. In 2007, Dollars for Scholars volunteers awarded over $403,000 in scholarships to San Diego students. Impressive, sure, but we can and must do better for the nearly half-a-million students who were academically qualified for college but can’t afford to go. What is unique about this new chapter is that we are touching the lives of very needy kids… the foster kids in our community.

Holiday Party

Holiday Party

Fostering Opportunities Dollars for Scholars provides personal mentors and financial support for foster youth in San Diego County, to help them achieve their educational goals. We are a locally operated and supported non-profit scholarship foundation, managed by an all-volunteer Board. In 2008 our organization provided 50 scholarships (24 in the spring, 26 in the fall) and services to these worthy and needy young adults.

In 2004, Rebecca, a young lady who graduated from San Diego’s Foster Program told us this is how she would explain to other kids what it is like to be a foster kid. Rebecca has worked hard to make a life of her own and has been a recipient of the Dollars for Scholars Fostering Opportunities program since 2003. In 2007, Rebecca graduated from Cal State San Marcos.

“Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that your parents died in a car crash, and that there was no other family for you to live with. Then imagine that the State placed you in a group home, which is basically a home for orphans. Here you have several people telling you what to do all the time having to ask to use the restroom and not being allowed to have any of your belonging because they may get stolen. Imagine not only trying to get along with, but also living with up to 100 different people. Every time you want to spend the night at a friend’s house that isn’t a part of your group home their parents must go to court with you and they have to get a background check. You only have 10 minutes each night to use the phone and that includes the calls to family, friends, social workers, and your attorney. If you get to leave the group home you must be accompanied by a staff member and you are only given $10 a month for spending. SO THAT MEANS NO MALL, NO HOMECOMING DANCES!!! All friends and boyfriends/girlfriends must be approved by your social worker. YOUR SOCIAL WORKER HAS ALL THE POWER, but they have 40 other cases so you can never get a hold of them. ”

Abdi & Sade Getting Their Scholarships

Abdi & Sade Getting Scholarships w/Mentors Connie, Susan & Barbara

“Now imagine another situation where your parents abuse you in some way. You are removed from your home and placed in a foster home where the entire way this family does things is completely different from the way your family did things so you are always getting into trouble. Some homes put locks on the refrigerator. You feel like an outsider because you’re not ‘really’ a part of their family and their “real” kids get things like toys and clothes and you don’t.”

“Now imagine turning 18 in either of these situations. The court gives you $500 and says have a nice life. You have no family or friends (at least ones that aren’t in your same shoes) and you have to find a job in San Diego and a place to live. Your full time job pays $8 but your rent is $700 and in a bad neighborhood. What do you do??????”

It only takes one person to make a difference in a young person’s life. Is that person you? Donate now!