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Renaissance Scholars

a former foster youth, and Renaisance Scholar

tells his incredible story of how Cal Poly helped change his life for the better.

Empowering Former Foster Youth Through Higher Education

Launched in 2002, Cal Poly Pomona's Renaissance Scholars is a comprehensive support program located in the Division of Student Affairs that empowers former foster youth through higher education.  The program enables former foster youth to attend one of the nation's finest universities and successfully complete a bachelor's degree. This innovative program draws on Cal Poly Pomona's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and the Casey Family Programs' It's My Life Framework for Transitioning Foster Youth.

The program provides former foster youth with critical educational resources and a supportive environment that are key in assisting them to obtain their bachelor’s degree. The program meets the needs of students by providing workshops, mentoring, tutoring, academic advising, life skills seminars, year-round housing, financial assistance, educational enrichment and community building activities.

Since 2002, Renaissance Scholars has grown from serving 10 students to serving approximately 50 students annually.  The program has graduated 66 scholars who have redefined who they are, broken the cycle of abuse or poverty, and have transformed their future.