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Foster(ing) Youth in the CSU System: Understanding the Vital Role of Campus Support Programs

May 31 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT

Watch the Zoom Recording here.

California has the largest foster youth population in the nation, with over 50,000 children in foster care. Students who experience foster care often face significant barriers to post-secondary education. As the largest university system in the U.S., California State University (CSU) plays an important role in supporting positive life outcomes for students who have experienced foster care, with an estimated annual enrollment of 3,000-3,500 students with foster care history. In a new study, researchers from UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools seek to understand the impact of CSU campus-based support programs on foster youth, and the successes, challenges, and opportunities experienced by program staff.


CTS researchers will present findings from the study and actionable recommendations at the campus, system, state, and federal levels as part of a panel discussion to highlight the perspectives of program support staff and other stakeholders.


Dr. Lucrecia Santibañez, Co-Faculty Director, UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools

Dr. Kenyon Whitman, Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Faculty Affiliate, UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools

Dr. Maria Luz Espino, Research Analyst, UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools

Demontea Thompson, Doctoral Researcher, UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools

Debbie Raucher, Project Director of Education, John Burton Advocates for Youth

Dr. Sara Gamez, Director of Student Support & Equity Programs, Cal Poly Pomona

Ray Murillo, Director of Student Programs, CSU Chancellor’s Office

Dr. Kizzy Lopez, Founding Coordinator of the Renaissance Scholars Program for foster youth, CSU Fresno


May 31
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT