About 120 middle school youth from Fresno County will participate in the “Access to Higher Education – Middle School” program designed to encourage and inspire youth from the foster care system to go beyond high school and pursue a post-secondary or college education. The program will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 24 in the North Gym (Room 118) at Fresno State.

The event is an extension of the “Access to Higher Education” program for high school students from foster care but this is this first one specific for middle school students in foster care.

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro will start the day with a welcome message. Students will meet and be mentored by former foster youth who are attending college in the region. The mentors will answer questions about what it’s like being a former foster youth in college.

The middle school students will attend two presentations on preparing for high school and exploring college options and resources. The students will meet Fresno State mascot TimeOut and see a dance performance by University student clubs and Greek organizations.

The event is a multi-agency collaborative by the Renaissance Scholars Program at Fresno State; Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools; Department of Social Services; Fresno, Clovis, Sanger and Central unified school districts; Promise Scholars at Clovis; Fresno City College; and Reedley College.

Sponsors for the event include the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Fresno State, the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, Golden 1 Credit Union and Court Appointed Special Advocates.

For more information, contact Kizzy Lopez, Renaissance Scholars Program coordinator, at 559.278.5055 or kizzyl@csufresno.edu.

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