Background

The Guardian Scholars (GS) Program was established in 2009 at UCLA out of student advocacy to help address the unmet needs of the current and former foster youth attending the university. The GS program provides supports to youth that have previously engaged with the child welfare system and that have experienced foster care, guardianship/kinship care, probation, or that are unaccompanied minors. The focus of the Guardian Scholars program is to build a welcoming community and to promote the wellness, and academic achievement of foster youth students. This is done through monthly community building events and workshops that assist students in gaining life skills and learning how to navigate UCLA and the broader community. The GS program provides supports such as financial scholarships, the Guardian Scholars Textbook Lending Library, and internship opportunities. The program works collaboratively with on and off campus partners to cultivate authentic relationships and networks to enhance the lives of GS students. Ultimately, we provide foster youth students with tools that promote self-sufficiency and prepare them for a successful transition from college to career.