Guardian Scholars

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Why We are Here

Across the nation, approximately 400,000 children are temporarily placed in foster care because their families are unable to care for them. Over 60,000 live in California. 

Though 70 percent of foster youth express an interest in college, only 50 percent graduate from high school, 20 percent enroll in college, and only 3 percent graduate from college.

In 2014, under Senate Bill 1023 (Liu) the Cooperative Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support Programs (CAFYES) were established as an expansion of the EOPS programs.  At San Jose City College (SJCC), the Guardian Scholars Program is dedicated to serving “current and former” foster youth using Student Equity resources to help support students throughout their academic endeavors.  The Guardian Scholars program is under the umbrella of the EOP&S program at San Jose City College.

Through the collaboration of the Foster Youth Success Initiative Liaison and the EOPS/Guardian Scholars program, it is the intent to encourage the enrollment, retention, and transfer of “current and former” foster youth at SJCC.


The EOPS-Guardian Scholars program will provide “over and above and in addition to” support services to San José City College foster youth population. These services will be administered by a group of dedicated and trained professionals to help foresee and address the challenges that students may encounter at San Jose City College (SJCC). 

Who is Eligible?

    • Foster Youth:  Someone who has been in foster care, no matter the length of time

    • Dependent or ward of the court-someone who has received protection from the court and may have had a legal guardian appointed either by the court or by parental consent

    • Emancipated minor-someone who is a minor (under age 18 in CA) and is no longer under parental control.

    • Orphaned-someone whose parents or legal guardians are deceased

    • Was identified as an unaccompanied minor who is homeless (or at-risk of being homeless), or McKinney-Vento (someone who is living in a shelter, on the street, or “couch hopping”).  Documentation of status will be required to verify eligibility.

    • Living with kin (arranged formally or informally)-someone whose care is provided by relatives or extended family member(s) due to any number of reasons.


    • Attend Guardian Scholars orientation

    • One on one intake to complete a comprehensive educational plan

    • Be enrolled in at least 3 units in current semester

    • Meet with Guardian Scholars Counselor (4 times per semester)

    • Intention to become a fulltime student following semester


    • Form​er foster care involved

    • At least one day of foster care experience from 0-18 years old (e.g. foster home, group home, or placed with a relative by the court)

    • Documentation from county identified as foster care involved

    • Educationally disadvantaged

    • No high school diploma required​

Program Services

The following are some of the services available to Guardian Scholars:

    • ​Counseling (Academic, Career, and   Personal)
    • Personal and life skills training and support​
    • Navigation of campus resources
    • Assistance with financial and housing matters
    • Book Vouchers
    • Lending Library
    • Lending Technology (laptops/calculators)
    • College resources/school materials
    • Career Assessment
    • Study Skills Workshops
    • University field trips
    • VTA Eco Passes 
    • ​Referral network for campus and off-campus services​​

San Jose City College Guardian Scholars logo

Fabio Gonzalez​

Guardian Scholars Coordinator

Julio Flores

Guardian Scholars Counselor

(408) 298-2181 ext. 3653

SJCC Supporting Page
San Jose City College