Guardian Scholars

Guardian Scholars Program
Mission Statement

Golden West College’s Guardian Scholars Program provides a range of services and resources for current and former foster youth/wards of the court who are interested in pursuing a college education. Our goal is to assist Guardian Scholars students to increase their confidence as educated, self-reliant individuals with the skills to become strong role models and future community leaders.

What is the Guardian Scholars Program?

Golden West College’s Guardian Scholars Program was established to support current and former foster youth students achieve their educational goals. Guardian Scholars have the opportunity to transform their lives by attaining an associate degree, transfer to a 4-year university, and/or certificate in career technical education. The program provides a safe haven for students to obtain information related to education, financial aid, housing, food, and other educational or basic necessities. The combination of support services and dedicated staff contribute to our Guardian Scholars’ retention and achievement of their educational and personal goals.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a current or former foster you/ward of the court
  • Provide proof of Ward of the Court or Dependency Verification
  • Apply to EOPS Program
  • Apply for FAFSA
  • Apply for Chafee Grant (if under 22 years old and eligible for the Independent Living Program services between your 16th and 18th birthdays)
  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 units
  • Apply for the Guardian Scholars Program before your 35th birthday
  • Must NOT have received a bachelor’s degree
  • Must be a California resident
Services and Benefits
  • Material and health fees paid
  • Associated Student Body fee paid
  • Additional textbook services provided
  • Extended services from Student Health Center
  • Food/hygiene pantry
  • Specific Career & Technical Education (CTE) costs paid*
  • Graduation scholarship
  • Referrals for housing, transportation, and clothing
  • Personal, academic, and career counseling

What is CAFYES?

The Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Education Support (CAFYES) Program is designed to assist current or former foster youth whose dependency was established or continued by the court on or after a student’s 16th birthday.  The CAFYES Program assists qualified students balance their needs with financial assistance and additional support services.

Qualifications for CAFYES

  • Be EOPS eligible
  • Be enrolled in at least 9 units
  • Have dependency established or continued by the court on or after your 16th birthday
  • No older than 25 years of age at the beginning of the academic year

Commitment to CAFYES

Once you have been accepted into the CAFYES Program, your commitment to CAFYES includes:

  • Enrolling in a minimum of 9 units with the majority of units at Golden West College
  • Maintaining satisfactory academic progress (Complete 67% of total units attempted annually with a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0)
  • Meeting with a counselor a minimum of three times per semester (2 for EOP/S and 1 for CAFYES)
Apply for the Guardian Scholars Program

How do I apply?

  1. Apply to EOPS Program
  2. Apply to the Guardian Scholars Program
  3. Apply for FAFSA (financial aid)
  4. Apply for Chafee Grant (if Under 22 Years Old and Eligible for the Independent Living Program services between your 16th and 18th birthdays)
  5. Schedule an appointment to see a foster youth specialist
  6. Provide your Ward of the Court or Dependency Verification letter

Staff

  • Natalie Timpson, EOPS/CARE/Guardian Scholars Director
  • Michelle Sambrano, EOPS/CARE/Guardian Scholars Counselor
  • Bridget Vu, EOPS/CARE Outreach Technician/Foster Youth Specialist