Update on $1 Million Scholarship: EOP and the Renaissance Scholars Program

By Brittanie Gutierrez |Staff Writer|

Early in May, CSUSB received a million dollar scholarship to help Foster Care youth and those children with incarcerated parents go to college.

So, what happens next?

Olivia Rosas, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at CSUSB, is in charge of recruiting new students to attend CSUSB.

“We go out to promote California State University, San Bernardino. We do promotional events, not specifically target towards Foster Youth or kids with incarcerated parents, but for all students,” explained Rosas.

In terms of this scholarship, CSUSB wants to reach students starting from the ninth grade and guide them towards attending college.

Currently, CSUSB has the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which is a program that began in 1969 and is geared towards helping people from low-income families receive a higher education.

“EOP recruits, retains and graduates students by providing a comprehensive program of support services which include admission, academic advisement, career and personal counseling, tutoring, financial assistance and graduate school information,” according to EOP’s website.

Within EOP, there is the Renaissance Scholars Program, which is geared towards helping Foster Care Youth get through college.

“There is an application process. Once they apply, they have to meet certain criteria and they go through an interview with the Renaissance Scholars Coordinator. Then we share with them that once they are a part of this program, these are the services provided to you and the responsibilities we ask of you,” said Veronica Ramirez Amerson, EOP Director.

Student are asked to be engaged in school programs such as leadership experiences and participation of a mentoring program with other EOP peers that are upperclassmen.

“Our program is fortunate enough where we have a very actively involved counseling team that goes out to the community,” continued Amerson.

Presentations are given in high schools, and sometimes middle schools, that try to recruit students to attend CSUSB.

Within these presentations, EOP is presented, informing students that if they or someone they know are going through the Foster Care System (FCS), that they too can attend college.

They never single out who is in the FCS but they do give the entire audience the information on where to get in contact with EOP.

With the million dollar scholarship given to CSUSB by Give Something Back and founder Robert Carr, EOP can help students graduate with zero debt.

“It allows the student to really focus on academics, it allows for their aide to be supplemented with this scholarship, to hopefully minimize the amount of work hours they have to do, and graduate in a timely fashion with zero debt,” said Amerson.

The Give Something Back $1 million scholarship would help students from Foster Youth or with incarcerated parents attend college and graduate debt free within four years.

“This is going to be our anchor for the third phase. It’s to get kids young enough, to give them the hope and the knowledge that they can go college, and that they don’t give up when they’re in middle school and they don’t give up when they’re in elementary school or in high school,” said Give Something Back Founder, Robert Carr.



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