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( dsalazar )

Comments made by dsalazar

Foster Youth: Beyond The Necessities

My sister, Linda Salazar, is a former foster youth. I have painfully and, in many ways, helplessly watched her grow up in the system. Despite her misfortune she has grown to become an intelligent, independent, and successful young woman. She is now 22 years old, has acheived an Associates Degree from Grossmont College in El Cajon, has won several scholarships, currently volunteers, works part time as a nanny of three children, and has been accepted into a cardiovascular technician program which she anticipates to begin in the fall of 2010.

I strongly believe that she would not have been able to come this far without the help and care of those who volunteer and contribute to the programs designed for foster children. With the aid of a program, JIT (Just in Time), Linda has gotten help to get a laptop, scholarships, luggage, etc. which has contributed to her academic career. The attention and dedication of the people within this program has motivated her to get more involved in helping others who are also form foster youth.

For instance, she has helped create a program within the EOPS (Extended Opprotunity Program and Services) department at Grossmont College which focuses specifically on the aid of the former foster youth who need help attaining a higher education. The program is called EFFORT (EOPS Financial aid Foster youth Outreach Rentention Team). For more information see the bottom of this comment.

It was mentioned on These Days that a young adult of 18 years is often not ready to live independently; this is equally true for foster youth. I beleive it is especially hard for them because they do not have the parents to lean on for help. Programs like JIT, EOPS, and EFFORT not only help former foster youth, but it promotes higher education.

I write this comment because I think it is important to get the word out there to the foster youth that there is still help after you turn 18. Moreover, it is help that will boost you to succeed in your adult life. It is also important to let others know that help is needed for these foster youth to succeed for the better of society as a whole.

I also write this comment because I want to recognize my sister, Linda. I am proud of you. I admire your strength and courage throughout your struggle within the system, and I am confident that you will be a success in your adult life.

Deanna Salazar

Contact Information of Programs mentioned in this comment:

Grossmont College--EOPS & EFFORT:
www.grossmont.edu/eops

Michael Perez--EOPS and EFFORT counselor
michael.perez@gcccd.edu
&
Julio Soto--Financial Aid Advisor
julio.soto@gcccd.edu

JIT:
http://www.jitfosteryouth.org/

May 5, 2010 at 4:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )