Support for foster youth

guardian scholars logoThe Guardian Scholars Program (GSP) assists current or former foster youth in succeeding at De Anza College.

By providing students with individual attention and access to supportive resources, we hope that all of our scholars achieve academic success, graduation, employment and the ability to become a contributing member of society.

Guardian Scholars receive

  • Full financial aid package – grants and scholarship packages that cover tuition
  • Academic advising – assistance with class selection and registration
  • Employment services, mentoring and career counseling – job placement, shadowing and advising
  • Personal guidance, counseling and tutoring – regular contact with a consistent counselor to develop and monitor an education plan
  • Supplemental support  – including textbook vouchers, meal vouchers, gas cards, child care and transportation help
  • Additional resources

Become a Scholar

By becoming a Guardian Scholar at De Anza, current and former foster youth get opportunities to participate in special events and activities, and to develop supportive relationships with faculty, staff and other students. Currently there are approximately 40 students in the program, and each is on their own unique path to academic and professional success.

In addition, Guardian Scholars are supported by caring and understanding staff members who empower and encourage them to never give up. Obtaining a college degree can be challenging, but with a proper support system in place, the sky is the limit for our students.

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"GSP has shown me that despite my struggles and upbringing, there's people out there who endured the same pain as I did. Those individuals were able to thrive and find their happiness in their own special way despite being a foster child or troubled youth. That alone empowers me to keep going and thrive for a better tomorrow."

- student at the 2017 GSP End of Year Celebration

"I enjoyed everything about the event and how we were all honored for our hard work. I'm just thankful for all the support from the GSP."

- student at the 2017 GSP End of Year Celebration

Foster Youth Program

What is the Foster Youth Success Initiative?

The Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) was created to help current and/or former youth coming from foster care to succeed at De Anza College.

Who is eligible for Foster Youth Support Services?

  • You are most likely eligible for GSP if one or more of the following applies to you
    You are currently in foster care
  • You lived in a foster home or group home in the past
  • A judge or court had you live with a friend, relative, or someone who was not your biological parent
  • You emancipated ("aged out") of the system
  • You currently live or have lived in a Transitional Living Program

Learn more about the Foster Youth Success Initiative.


The following scholarships are available specifically to current and former foster youth. Please make sure you read the requirements for each application to make sure you are qualified.

Check this list for more scholarships.

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

More resources off campus

How to Apply

If you're already enrolled at De Anza

  1. Meet with the GSP coordinator.
  2. Fill out the Guardian Scholars Program application.
  3. Submit a foster youth verification/dependency letter to the GSP counselor.
  4. Attend GSP orientation.
  5. Meet with the foster youth counselor or RISE coach at least once per quarter.

If you haven't enrolled at De Anza

  1. Apply as soon as you can.
  2. Meet with the GSP coordinator.
  3. Fill out the Guardian Scholars Program application.
  4. Submit the foster youth verification/dependency letter to the GSP counselor.
  5. Attend GSP orientation.
  6. Enroll in current quarter.
  7. Meet with the foster youth counselor 1-2 times and RISE coach at least once per quarter.

Any Questions?

Just ask us!

Guardian Scholars Program

Office Hours
Monday: 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Make an appointment

Aricka Bueno,
Foster Youth Counselor
Guardian Scholars
Program Coordinator:
or 408.864.5652

Nathan Tia,
RISE Coach:
or 650.458.0068

Admissions and Records:
Foster Youth Ally

Barry Johnson,
or 408.864.8722

Foster Youth Ally

Adrienne Pierre,
or 408.864.8784

Foster Youth Ally
George Robles,
or 408.864.8952

Financial Aid:
Foster Youth Liason
Jacqueline DiBernardo,
or 408.864.8226

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