Campus hosts ‘Ultimate’ journey for youth in foster care

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Campus hosts ‘Ultimate’ journey for youth in foster care

The “Ultimate Summer College Adventure” – a new two-week summer camp designed to promote a college-going mindset for about 80 Fresno County youth in foster care –begins today, June 15, at California State University, Fresno.

The main focus of the project is to make college accessible and approachable for the children, who are in grades 3-12. The Ultimate Summer College Adventure runs June 15-29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Office of Teacher Recruitment at Fresno State and Fresno County Office of Education Foster Youth Educational Services host the camp, which will provide academic enrichment activities youth would not normally receive through traditional schooling.

“Youth in foster care are often so involved in playing catch up that they lose out on the fun of learning,” said Pamela Hancock, program coordinator for Foster Youth Educational Services, which strives to increase academic achievement and decrease truancy among foster youth.

“Through this camp, youth in foster care are able to know the joy of learning because the future teachers make it so much fun,” Hancock said.

The adult coordinators, called adventure guides, are all teachers-to-be who are recruited through the Office of Teacher Recruitment and the California Teaching Fellows Foundation. They “enjoy engaging kids through problem-based, hands-on learning,” said Anne Murphy, program director at the Office of Teacher Recruitment.

“They gain valuable experience and they get to improve their ability to teach creatively, which will add to their value as classroom teachers when hired,” Murphy said.

On the campus, youth will participate in interactive games and themed adventure plans such as Game Design, Movie Making, Engineering and Flight. The youth also will take tours of Fresno State to help them become more comfortable with the college setting.

An Ultimate College Adventure held during the university’s spring break attracted 75 youth in foster care to the camp.

The Office of Teacher Recruitment is located within Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development, and serves hundreds of paraprofessionals pursuing bilingual, special education, multiple- and single-subject teaching credentials.

Fresno State also offers a program designed to assist former foster youth obtain a college degree, the Renaissance Scholars Program, through the Division of Student Affairs.

For more information about the Ultimate Summer College Adventure and day-of activities, contact Susan Boling at 559.246.2027 or susanboling@csufresno.edu. For other inquires, contact Jennifer Mastro at 559.230.2103 or jennifermastro@ercgrants.com.

Related links: Office of Teacher Recruitment, Renaissance Scholars Program