VESTIA is committed to helping high school students realize their dreams of college by providing scholarships to graduating Contra Costa County high school students through our Foster Youth Scholarships Program. Young adults who are in foster care or are recently emancipated from Contra Costa County can receive financial assistance to further their educational goals and enhance their life skills. VESTIA is proud to offer numerous scholarships each year totaling $15,000-$20,000 to foster youth graduating through the Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP).
We refer to these youth as “emancipating” when they turn 18 years old, and will no longer be part of the foster care system and will be entirely on their own, possibly for the first time in their lives. We are all so proud to see them walk across the stage at their graduation ceremony each year and we wish them the very best as they enter into adulthood and this new stage of life and learning. These youth will need a lot of support as they start on their new lives, and the Assistance League of Diablo Valley has again generously provided each graduating youth with a duffel bag stuffed with new household items, pots, pans, towels, and all the necessities for starting a new home on their own. Thank you Assistance League for your support and encouragement of these youth!
ILSP Youth: A Success Story
I want to begin by saying “THANK YOU” to those who believe in and support our ILSP youth! I have met Aricka a few times before, but the last time I saw her I was so curious about her. I asked her if she was graduating this year. She said, “Yes!” with a proud smile on her face. I thought she was graduating from high school but to my surprise she said, “I’m graduating from UC Davis.” I immediately congratulated her and she went on to say, “I’ve been accepted to San Francisco State University for my Master’s Degree. I want to become a counselor.” I felt so proud of her for having accomplished so much.
We must admit we all have problems but life is much more difficult when we don’t have our love ones to advise us and guide us in the right direction. We find ourselves trusting in others to help us make the right decisions. It becomes a real challenge following through with the decision that was agreed upon. Once in a while, we all need a little push here and there as a reminder to keep focus and to follow through with the goal in mind. Aricka is the perfect example and motivation to us all. She had to overcome so many obstacles as a foster youth, the guidance and support helped her focus on her ultimate goal – obtain a bachelor Degree from UC Davis.