Junior Guardian Scholars College Tour.
Forty former foster youth and chaperones returned from a four-day, three-night college and career trip to San Francisco, thanks to Southwest Airlines. The youth are a part of the Promises2Kids’ Junior Guardian Scholars program.
One group of students explored various colleges and universities including: UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State, San Francisco State, UC Berkeley, Skyline Community College and Alameda Community College. Another group of students also had the chance to tour the Google and Airbnb headquarters to explore different career opportunities.
Education is the key to foster youth being able to avoid homelessness that affects more than one-third of foster youth nationally as they age out of the system. Promises2Kids believes in supporting youth in completing high school and pursing vocational training and or college to ensure they are able to create a brighter future for themselves.
Guardian Scholars and its Juniors program reaches foster youth while they are in high school - intervening at a critical time in their lives - preparing them for graduation, a higher education and beyond.
“For many foster youth in our program, this trip was their first trip outside of San Diego and for some, their first airplane flight. The trip was an amazing opportunity as these kids do not have the same means and access other youth might have when it comes to touring colleges. Our partnership with Southwest Airlines allowed students to experience what it is like to be on a college campus and tour major corporations in Northern California,” Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids shared with Giving Back Magazine.
“Southwest Airlines has been Promises2Kids’ Official Airline since 2014. They are a huge community partner and have supported the entire agency, including sponsorships for Promises2Kids’ Junior Guardian Scholars program and our Dream On Concert Gala,” Tonya proudly shared.
Tonya emphasized that the organization’s relationship with Southwest Airlines is special: “Southwest has truly taken that extra step that means so much to us,” she said. “Its responsiveness to our mission and generosity has enabled our foster youth to travel Southwest at no cost on annual college tours. They have also provided flights for foster youth to go home for the holidays, staff training travel and gift cards for several fundraising initiatives. Since 2016, Southwest has also sponsored a student through the Southwest Airlines scholarship. Any time that Promises2Kids has a need, Southwest Airlines has always come through and been there to support our youth.”
“Southwest Airlines is committed to fostering healthy communities and strives to positively influence lives in each community in a meaningful way,” said Lidia S. Martinez, Southwest Airlines’ Manager of Community Affairs and Grassroots. “Southwest Airlines is proud to support Promises2Kids and its mission to create a brighter future for foster children. With a little help, today’s youth will become tomorrow’s leaders!”
Promises2Kids creates a brighter future for foster children in San Diego County. Their programs include Camp Connect, Guardian Scholars, Foster Funds, and support of the A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center.