Guardian Scholars Program Welcomes New Office, New Director, and New Students

UC Riverside’s Guardian Scholars Program to hold open house on Aug. 17

2013 Guardian Scholar graduates

From left to right: Brandy Taylor, Kassy Peterson and Alyssa Heckman were the 2013 Guardian Scholar graduates.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – There’s a lot to be thankful for – a new space, a new director, and a new family. Operated under the office of Foster Youth Support Services, the University of California, Riverside’s Guardian Scholars Program will celebrate all the “new” with an open house on Monday, Aug. 17, at 4 p.m. The event will be held in the program’s new office in Bannockburn Village at 3637 Canyon Crest Drive, Unit K-101.

“Close to student housing, restaurants, and classrooms, the new space will offer a home for our program scholars, staff, and volunteers to come together for family-style dinners and game nights, seminar-style teaching events, and day-to-day resource access and referrals,” said Tuppett Yates, the executive director of Guardian Scholars Program.

The program provides a network of resources to students who are transitioning from the foster care system to adulthood in order to support their pursuit of higher education. Established in 2008, the program is staffed by a small group of volunteers and a full-time, university-funded director.

Guardian Scholars Logo

Guardian Scholars Logo

Kenyon Whitman joined the team in early August as the new director of Foster Youth Support Services (FYSS) and Guardian Scholar programming. Yates said he brings a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise to the team. With advanced training in higher education and leadership (including a master’s degree from CSU Fresno and three years of doctoral training at University of San Diego), extensive experience coordinating foster youth services at CSU Fresno, and, most recently, spearheading the development of a foster youth support program at USD. Whitman will take a leave from his doctoral training at USD to move to Riverside and immerse himself in his new position as director of FYSS. He plans to complete his Ph.D. research while residing in Riverside.

“We are very excited that we will benefit from such a passionate, competent, and committed advocate for our youth and our program,” Yates said.

The program will also welcome 10 new students to the Guardian Scholars family this fall.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-5893
E-mail: mojgan.sherkat@ucr.edu
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Jan Forrester
Tel: (951) 827-5671
E-mail: jan.forrester@ucr.edu

Tuppett Yates
E-mail: tuppett.yates@ucr.edu

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