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Foster Youth Who Exemplify Academic Success PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:54

Courtesy Photo

Over $1,000,000 in scholarships awarded to 187 youth including aspiring biologists, journalists, psychologists, doctors, dancers, criminologists, and entrepreneurs.

One hundred eighty seven graduating seniors will be honorded, Thursday, June 19 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. What makes this group unique is that they are foster youth who despite adversity have achieved academic success with high grade point averages.

The celebration is noted as a "tremendous milestone" for the students, many who will receive financial support to continue their education at colleges throughout the country.

Among the group, two students will attend California State University, Northridge.

CSUN in the fall. In high school she has maintained a 3.38 GPA. When Ingrid was a child in El Salvador, her parents separated and she went to live with relatives. With meager savings, her mother came to the United States and left Artiga behind.

At age 12, Ingrid and her sister came to the U.S. illegally. It was difficult for a 12-year-old to learn a new language and understand the culture. Her situation worsened—she was abused by her stepfather who went to jail. Her mother could not find work and was deported. She had few relatives living in the United States and a brief period living with an aunt proved disappointing.

Artiga’s luck changed, however, when she was placed in the home of caring Guatemalan foster parents who made a huge difference in helping Artiga with learning English, understanding the culture in the United States and provided support to help her make sense of her situation. They became her legal guardians. With their support and that of her social worker, Artiga was granted permanent legal residency and she thrived.

Andre Rhodes plans on attending college in the fall and has a career goal to work in both Criminology and Music. Andre is an artist; it's in his blood. He explains that it's through art that defines how he sees the world and how he chooses to engage in it. Andre is an accomplished violinist and violist, playing for both Renaissance Arts High School and for the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. His commitment and passion for art extends beyond music and includes a love of visual arts.

While Rhodes is passionate about art and music, he is also interested in studying criminal justice at college. He has learned a great deal about himself from volunteering at the LA Mission, and through serving as a Counselor in Leadership Training at Circle V Camp.

Despite his busy extracurricular schedule, Rhodes earned a solid 3.0 grade point average.

For several years, United Friends of the Children (UFC) has supported Rhodes in his academic pursuits through their College Readiness Program. While his entry into foster care began with seven placement changes, he has benefitted from the stability found in his foster home of six years.

He was recently accepted into his top college choice, Cal State Northridge. Rhodes has expressed his appreciation for the support he’s received from UFC and looks forward to their continued support for the next five years.

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