Ball State University’s Guardian Scholars Program has won a 2021 Aging Out Institute (AOI) Award, which celebrates the effective strategies of organizations that work with youth who age out of foster care. The Guardian Scholars Program was one of four winners in AOI’s “Small Organization/Program” category, and one of eight winners overall, AOI announced.
The Guardian Scholars’ award includes a prize of $30,000, which will be used to support the program’s continued efforts to provide holistic support for students who have experienced foster care. Within Guardian Scholars, students are connected to peers who share similar childhood experiences, and to a network of professionals trained to support these students’ unique needs on campus.
“Students who have experienced foster care are tremendously resilient and independent, yet face significant barriers in achieving post-secondary success,” said Dr. Tiffany Peters, assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Ball State. “With the prize money so graciously associated with this award, the Guardian Scholars Program will invest in our continued efforts to provide advocacy, holistic support, and a sense of belonging for Ball State University students who have experienced foster care.”
Services and outreach offered through the Guardian Scholars Program include:
- Academic mentoring
- Fast-tracked connections to needs-based support available on campus
- Success seminars about campus life, life skills, and career preparation
- Events aimed at cultivating positive peer, program, campus, and community relationships
- Discreet access to personal care items and other necessities.
The Guardian Scholars program relies on local grants and donations to fund its scholarships and supportive services for students. Learn more about year-round donor opportunities at bsu.edu/guardianscholars.