Saturday, April 12, 2014

College & Career Day helps foster youth get acquainted with college

Staff ready to assist foster youth at College & Career Day
Scores of foster youth toured Grossmont College on April 11 as part of College & Career Day, aimed at showing the teens the opportunities that await them through higher education.

The event included workshops and seminars with Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District staff and 70 foster youth from around San Diego County. Most of the foster teens are living in group homes.

“We bring them on campus so they can get acquainted with college and show them the services that are available to help to help them,” said Pam Fleming, a Cuyamaca College financial aid advisor who also serves as the school’s Foster Youth Success Initiative liaison and has worked tirelessly with foster youth over the past decade.

The event, held annually, is rotated among the various community colleges in San Diego County. Speakers at the Grossmont College event included Dr. Michelle Lustig, manager of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services Program; Michael Copenhaver, Grossmont College Financial Aid Director; and a former foster youth.

The day began at 8 a.m. with a registration and breakfast at the Griffin Center. It ended in the afternoon with a College Fair at which students could learn more about their educational options.

“These are such sweet kids,” Fleming said. “It’s not their fault they’re in foster care. We should do all we can to help them succeed.”