Saddleback College offers supportive services to current and former foster youth through the Bridges to Foster Student Success (BRIDGES) Program.
The BRIDGES Program (formerly known as the S.T.E.P.S Program) is funded through the Saddleback College Student Equity Program and is committed to supporting current and former foster youth students. The BRIDGES Program serves as the primary support service for current and former foster youth to access both on-campus and off-campus resources.
The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) has recognized that there is a significant deficit regarding youth from foster care attending higher education. Acknowledging this need, they are sponsoring a concerted effort called the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) to bring issues affecting these youth to the forefront and to improve the ability of these youth to access postsecondary education and benefit from the support services that are available but are often unknown to them.
The vision of the CCCCO is to create a statewide outreach and retention effort to better serve current and former foster youth.
The goals of this initiative are to improve the following:
- Access to student services and resources
- Access to academic support
- Academic performance
- Completion of units
- Completion of programs and degree
- Transfer rates to baccalaureate
BRIDGES Program Eligibility Requirements
- Enrolled in classes at Saddleback College
- Was in the foster care system between the ages of 13-18
- Able to provide a "Ward of the Court" letter or other proof of foster care status
- Currently between the ages of 17-26
If you are eligible, complete the application at the link below. Saddleback College's Foster Youth Liaison, Amy Strange will be in touch with the next steps.
Founded in 2005, is a statewide non-profit organization, working to improve the quality of life for California’s foster, former foster, and homeless youth. John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) works in three areas: education, housing and health. In 2015 the foundation established a sustainable source of funding for foster youth support at community colleges through sponsorship of legislation that created a targeted program for foster youth students at 10 community college districts with $15 million in funding. The foundation offers book assistance and scholarships.
Orangewood Foundation is one of the leading providers of services to current and former foster youth in Orange County who help almost 2,000 foster and community youth annually prepare for independent adulthood. Services they offer are Housing, Education, Life Skills and Employment training, Health and Wellness and a number Scholarships.
The Foster Youth Services (FYS) provide Orange County foster youth with the resources needed to achieve their maximum vocational potential. The FYS work as case workers and advocates for foster youths. They will supply the ward of court letter. Provide Social Services, (i.e Mental health, AB 12 documentation).
The mission of Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) is to provide Orange County foster youth with the resources needed to achieve their maximum educational and vocational potential.
The mission of the Alliance for Children's Rights is to protect the rights of children in poverty and those overcoming abuse and neglect by delivering free legal services, supportive programs, and systemic solutions.