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Grant to benefit CSU Stanislaus foster youth, veterans
CSUS grant pic
The Wells Fargo grant will help former foster youth in the Promise Scholars program, like Terrance Ellis pictured above winning first place at the CCAA Track and Field Championships. - photo by Photo Contributed

Pursuing a college degree can be a financially exhausting investment—particularly for former foster youth and student veterans who are oftentimes left without reliable financial resources or dependable support systems to aid them on their academic journey.


Wells Fargo hopes to lessen the financial burden and bridge the gap for these two student groups attending California State University, Stanislaus with its award of a $25,000 grant.


“We invest in the mission of CSU Stanislaus as partners in opening doors for resilient, bright young minds to fulfill their potential, graduate from college, and become engaged community members,” said Wells Fargo Modesto district manager Oscar Cabello. “Supporting them is at the core of who Wells Fargo is, and aligns perfectly with our vision and values.”


One program that will significantly benefit from Wells Fargo’s gift is Promise Scholars, a program which is dedicated to providing foster youth with priority housing, tutoring, counseling, academic and career advising, scholarships, and financial aid since its launch in 2008.


“For the past three years, Wells Fargo has been a generous sponsor of the Promise Scholars Program,” said program coordinator Wanda Bonnell. “Our mission is to create a system of support for college students who have transitioned out of foster care or are homeless and without parental support.


“We are committed to empowering students so they can focus on academic success, graduate in a timely manner, and become self-supporting community leaders and competent professionals in their field of interest,” continued Bonnell.


According to Bonnell, the funds from the Wells Fargo grant will go towards helping students purchase books and other education materials when other financial resources have been exhausted.


Additionally, the program will continue to provide a wide range of comprehensive support services, including target outreach activities, presentations to the foster care community, and academic and social support to students who are former foster youth.


“These donations are important because they provide critical financial support for a student who may not have a parental figure to rely on for help with educational expenses,” said Bonnell.


Former foster youth that are a part of the Promise Scholars Program are not the only students slated to reap the benefits from Wells Fargo’s generous gift, as student veterans will be affected as well.


“Wells Fargo sets the example of a caring community-university partnership,” said Michael Igoe, Title V interim director. “I commend and appreciate their interest in assisting foster youth and veterans, and their support year after year.”


According to Igoe, the primary aim of the grant is to help those who are running out of their benefits, with most student veterans utilizing G.I. Bill benefits.

Igoe reported that since student veterans are non-traditional students, a significant amount of coursework that they have transferred does not meet the graduation requirements for CSU Stanislaus. It is because of this reason that many student veterans take more than four years to graduate and oftentimes run out of G.I. Bill benefits prior to degree completion.


“I think the monetary award itself would help as any scholarship would, but there’s also additionally a message of community good will and support that comes from a grant like this that goes a long way for veterans when it comes to feeling included and honored by both the donor and the institution,” said Igoe.