SAN JOSE — Many young people leaving for college still rely on the emotional and financial assistance of their parents well through graduation. But what about those kids who don’t have parents to rely on? Historically, children in foster care face daunting challenges as they transition out of the system to independence, resulting in barely three percent graduating from college.
California’s foster youth need the widespread support of our communities – from schools to universities to businesses and the Legislature – for assistance in becoming contributing members of our society.
On Nov. 30, 27 students of San Jose State’s Guardian Scholars Program, which provides support services for foster youth, will gather on campus to receive help in the form of free bicycles. They will also speak out about how the bikes and new legislation providing them with priority registration for classes will make a difference in their lives and in the classroom.
This month, foster youth at SJSU were allowed to sign up early for next semester’s classes as a result of AB 194, legislation introduced by Assemblymember Jim Beall. This new law, signed by the Governor in October, seeks to improve the graduation and retention rates for foster care students attending CSU and community colleges by providing them with priority registration.
The bikes, along with helmets and locks, are being donated through the generosity of the Housing Industry Foundation, Synergy Corporate Housing, and Cort Furniture. Outreach, the non-profit paratransit agency that coordinates with the Valley Transportation Agency to serve people with disabilities in Santa Clara County, also played a key role in directing the donation to the Guardian Scholars Program.
What: Presentation of 27 bikes to foster youth enrolled at San Jose State University.
When: Nov. 30, Wednesday, 10 a.m.
Where: San Jose State; Clark Hall, near the Smith/Carlos sculpture.
In case of rain, the presentation will be moved to the campus entrance for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. View a campus map.
Who: Guardian Scholars; Assemblymember Jim Beall; San Jose State President Mohammad Qayoumi; Colin Gray, president-elect of the Housing Industry Foundation; Connie Hernández-Robbins, Assistant Director of the Guardian Scholars Program.
Students, Assemblymember Beall, SJSU President Qayoumi, Mr. Gray, and Ms. Hernández-Robbins will be available for interviews following the presentation.