|Incoming scholars received a welcome gift basket provided by the Friends of the Renaissance Scholars that included a Target gift card, two-month bus pass, book stipend and other supplies.|
|The Renaissance Scholars program celebrates the achievements and aspirations of students who come from the foster care system.|
|Student Affairs Vice President Doug Freer, second from left, accepts a $50,000 donation from the Children's Fund.|
Former foster youth studying at Cal Poly Pomona will receive additional support, thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Children's Fund of San Bernardino County. The donation was presented during the Renaissance Scholars Fall Kick-Off and Reception on Sept. 26.
With friends, community leaders, on-campus partners and alumni in attendance, the third annual event welcomed seven new students to the university, wished all scholars well in the new academic year and kicked off the newly created Friends of the Renaissance Scholars group.
The Children's Fund donation, which was double the amount from last year, will be put into an endowment that provides scholarships and helps pay for housing, books and other expenses for former San Bernardino County foster youth.
“The friends of Renaissance Scholars are here to support the mission and values of the Renaissance Scholars Program. Friends empower our scholars to reach their higher educational goals by providing access to resources and services, facilitating presentations and workshops related to our areas of expertise, and actively participating in events such this one tonight, to demonstrate our commitment to our scholars,” said Gary Fredericksen, who with his wife, Ardyn, established the Gary & Ardyn Fredericksen Scholarship to help students pay for books, materials, gas and other supplies.
“The dedicated and hard working people at Cal Poly Pomona do a great deal for our scholars, but they can't do it alone. Ensuring the success of our scholars is a community effort,” he said.
The new scholars are: Julian M. Alcantar; Rosalinda Martinez, history; Frankie Gutierrez, music; Shannay Graves, communication; Steven Pacheco, industrial chemistry; Karina Magdeleno, psychology; and Regina King, animal health science. They each received a welcome gift basket provided by the Friends of the Renaissance Scholars that included a Target gift card, two-month bus pass, book stipend, Cal Poly Pomona T-shirt, notebook and other supplies.
Gutierrez, a La Puente High School graduate, said she chose Cal Poly Pomona because of the Renaissance Scholars program, which allowed her to live in the residence halls during the summer, meet new people and learn about various campus programs and student clubs. The 18-year-old said she was put into foster care as a child because of her parents' drug use and physical and emotional abuse.
“I chose to attend because of the outgoing atmosphere and the warm feeling that I've been longing for all my life,” she said.
Friends of the Renaissance Scholars recently created a network of service providers to help students. To start, dentists are offering free check-ups and dental care. The program is looking for additional supporters and service providers, especially those who can provide counseling and psychological services, to join its network of friends.
Launched in 2002, Renaissance Scholars was established to honor the achievements and aspirations of motivated and talented students who come from the foster care system. Encouraging academic and personal aspirations, the program provides financial resources, mentors students and celebrates their achievements.
For more information about the Friends of Renaissance Scholars, contact Nikki Khurana at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (909) 869-2922.