Barbara’s Growing Population of Foster Children SBCC Foundation receives $5,000 grant from Edison International to support critical program
The SBCC Foundation recently received a $5,000 grant from Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison, for the Guardian Scholars Foster Youth Program. The comprehensive program supports former foster youth in their efforts to gain a college education through: financial aid,
housing, academic advisement, employment services, career counseling, personal guidance and tutoring, and supplemental support services like child care, transportation help, books and meal vouchers.
Through the grant from Edison International, the Guardian Scholars Foster Youth Program will be able to provide up to 150 foster youths attending SBCC with mentorship and tools to become successful members of the community.
“This grant from Edison International will have a critical impact by making it possible for foster youths who attend SBCC to be able to focus on their education and have the tools to successfully complete college,” said Vanessa Patterson, Executive Director of the SBCC Foundation. “These students can more easily pursue academic studies, ultimately achieving an Associate’s degree and/or transferring to a four-year institution for a Bachelor’s degree. They can also look to SBCC’s career and technical education for certificate programs that enable them to enter into rewarding careers and provide a livelihood for themselves.”
Every year, approximately 4,000 youth age out of California’s foster care system upon reaching the age of 18 and in the last five years, the number of foster children in Santa BarbaraCounty who require these services has increased by 81%. This group is particularly vulnerable because many lack a supportive family structure, as almost half of all foster youth live in five different homes between the ages of 14 and 18 and attend at least as many schools during that period. According to studies released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation: less than 2% of former foster youth complete college, 65% of
California’s prison population have spent some time in foster care and 40% of those living in state homeless shelters are former foster youth.
“SBCC’s Guardian Scholars Foster Youth Program thanks corporate supporters like Edison International, who understand the additional challenges former foster youth face in our community,” said Wendy MacGregor, SBCC Foster Youth Liason. “The funds will provide these students with the resources needed for their own success as well as contribute to a healthier society.” With these staggering statistics in mind, the Guardian Scholars Foster Youth Program at SBCC plays a key role in providing a wide range of educational opportunities for emancipated foster youth, many of whom also struggle with basic reading, writing, and mathematics. At SBCC former foster youth can
pursue academic studies according to their skill level, ultimately achieving an Associate’s degree and/or transferring to a four-year institution for a Bachelor’s degree. These students can also look to SBCC’s career and technical education for certificate programs that will quickly qualify them for employment in rewarding fields. The ability to move rapidly into careers can be extremely important for students who struggle financially and seek to become self-sufficient.
About Edison International Edison International (NYSE:EIX), through its subsidiaries, is a generator and distributor of electric power and an investor in infrastructure and energy assets, including renewable energy. Headquartered in Rosemead, Calif., Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison.
Edison International’s support of charitable causes is funded entirely by Edison International shareholders. The company’s community donations are part of its commitment as a leading corporate citizen. Southern California Edison (SCE) customers’ utility bill payments do not fund company donations.
About the SBCC Foundation The mission of the SBCC Foundation is to support SBCC students and programs through sustained philanthropy. For more information, call (805) 730-4401 or visit www.sbccfoundation.org.