San Diego County and California State University San Marcos on Tuesday renewed a unique agreement under which the county’s eligible foster children are guaranteed admission to the university.
“If they are willing to do the work, they are in,” said Dr. Karen Haynes, president of the university, at a ceremony at the county administration building. “At Cal State San Marcos we are transforming the lives of foster youth, one degree at a time.”
Under the ACE Scholars Services program, foster youth from San Diego and Riverside counties who graduate from high school and meet university eligibility requirements are guaranteed admission to Cal State San Marcos. The program started in 2007 and was renewed in perpetuity Tuesday.
Currently 57 foster students are enrolled at the university, and Haynes said Cal State San Marcos has more on a per capita basis than any other institution in the United States.
“This is a real success story, not only for the County of San Diego, but for kids in our foster system,” said Supervisor Greg Cox prior to signing the renewal.
Julius Williams, a graduate of the county’s San Pasqual Academy who is studying visual arts and technology, said that at Cal State San Marcos foster children “don’t have to be a statistic.
“We don’t look at where you came from; we look at where you’re going,” he said.
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