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Promise Scholars seeks support for brunch competition, fundraiser
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Every year, area young people "graduate" from foster care with little or no resources to start life on their own. Yet, like most college hopefuls, foster youth have ambitions, goals and dreams.  The Promise Scholars program aims to help former foster youth succeed as students at California State University, Stanislaus, and provide a bridge to a brighter future for many of these young adults.

Like every other non-profit organization in today’s tough economic times, funds are badly needed to continue the work with former foster youth.  The Costa Family Foundation is stepping in to help Promise Scholars — and four other local non-profit organizations that help youth — with a community fundraising event.

“This is our first major fundraiser,” said Wanda Bonnell, Promise Scholars program coordinator since the program’s inception in 2006.  “Dan Costa and the Costa Family Foundation developed an idea to give back to the community, specifically with agencies that work with youth, by creating a highly delectable campaign community brunch event.”

The Community Brunch, a competition of local charities and chefs will give five non-profits that work with youth the opportunity to compete and raise funding for their cause, while also initiating a one-of-a-kind community event that will be providing a sophisticated brunch and live entertainment in a pleasant setting. The Community Brunch Serving Youth Fundraiser will be held on Sept. 9 at John Thurman Field in Modesto.

“Promise Scholars is the only Turlock charity organization that will be competing for this event,” added Bonnell.  “It is important that the community come out and support the Promise Scholars. Research tells us that 50 percent of foster youth who emancipates are either homeless or incarcerated within a year.”

Promise Scholars participants receive special academic advising, as well as instruction and support for developing life skills, such as securing safe and affordable housing, learning how to manage money, and while in school, finding jobs that won’t interfere with their academic goals.

“We can’t change their past, but we can make their futures better,” Bonnell said. “Education changes lives, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

If you wish to become a sponsor, donate an auction item or purchase tickets for the Community Brunch, call, 667-3311.