VESTIA is proud to offer numerous scholarships each year totaling $15,000-$20,000 to foster youth. We are committed to supporting Contra Costa foster youths striving toward their college goals through our Foster Youth Scholarship Program. In 2018 VESTIA awarded 20 college-bound and current college students between $500 and $1,500 in scholarship funds totaling nearly $19,000. Congratulations to these exceptional students who are high achievers despite the challenges of coming from the foster care system. Thank you to our donors for helping us provide a safety net for these struggling students.
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.