|Michael Jimenez of the Elks Lodge, Cuyamaca College student|
Jasmin Jimenez and Elks member Paul Kassel
Thirty students in a Cuyamaca College program that provides a measure of support often missing in their lives as former foster youth received school supplies and vouchers for books and transportation from the El Cajon Elks Lodge Thursday.
Cuyamaca College Professor Emeritus Anthony Zambelli, who continues to work on campus, said the event was the result of his attending a forum where he heard the plight of foster youth as they age out of the county system.
“All the financial and other support they receive ends and they are basically put out on the street and that’s so wrong,” Zambelli said. He decided to put his longtime membership with the El Cajon Elks Lodge to use to support former foster youth through Cuyamaca’s Unlimited Potential, or Up!, program. A $2,000 grant from the Elks National Foundation paid for the backpacks, school supplies and vouchers, along with a lunch of pizza to the Up! students who benefitted from the Elks’ largesse.