Foster Youth

Foster Youth Programs #

At Mesa College, we know the road to college can be complex for many of our students. That's why we're dedicated to helping you transition to and through college, no matter what your journey is. If you are a current or former foster care student, we have the community of support and services you need to realize your educational goals and create the future you want. We're here for you, every step of the way!

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Visit the FAST Center #

The Fostering Academic Success and Transitions (FAST) Center provides a place for foster youth to gather with other students who have experienced or are currently in care. Stop in to receive supportive services and access computers, study spaces, specialized workshops, a food pantry, and more. Find your community at the Fast Center!

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Become a FAST Scholar #

All Mesa College students who identify as current or former foster youth are welcome to become FAST Scholars and access specialized services designed to help you navigate college. Receive mentoring, counseling, and access to life skills seminars and workshops, as well as priority registration, financial aid, and scholarship support. We aim to connect you to the resources you need and the greater foster care community. Applications are submitted through the Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) Office; however, you don't need to qualify for EOPS to apply.

Access the EOPS Application

Join NextUP #

The NextUP program is an EOPS program designed to support the educational goals and well-being of current and former foster youth. Receive over and above support including transportation assistance (such as bus passes, parking permits, or gas cards), food assistance, emergency housing support, and access to school supplies. You will also benefit from priority registration, mentoring, counseling, financial aid and scholarships assistance, book service, specialized workshops, resources, and more.

Determine Your Eligibility

You may qualify for the NextUP program if you:

  • Are a California resident
  • Qualify to receive a California College Promise Grant (formerly the Board of Governors Fee Waiver)
  • Are a current or former foster youth in California whose dependency or wardship was established or continued by the court on, or after your 16th birthday
  • Are under 26 at the beginning of the academic year
  • Are enrolled in at least 9 units

Note: The EOPS 70 unit and 6 semester degree-applicable unit limit does not apply to CAFYES students upon admittance to the NextUP program nor apply for dismissal from the NextUP program.

Access the EOPS Application
Learn more about Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS)

Donate To Support Foster Youth at Mesa
Your gifts help us support students as they experience financial setbacks that may otherwise force them to stall or give up on their educational pursuits all together. Help us grow our emergency funds for current and former foster youth and support their journeys at Mesa.
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