Matching Fund Established to Support Former Foster Youth at UCR

Februrary 20th event will raise funds for students emancipated from foster care system

Dance Marathon is a night of music, dancing, games and fun for a good cause — the UCR Guardian Scholars Program.

Since its creation in 2012, Dance Marathon (DM) has been an evening of students dancing the night away to raise funds for UCR’s Guardian Scholars program, which provides the gift of education to former foster youth. In its three-year history, DM has raised over $140,000 through this six-hour dance party with music, hourly raffle drawings and games.

An organization called Pritzker Foster Care Initiative has agreed to match up to $20,000 of funds raised at Dance Marathon 2016, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Aberdeen-Inverness Dining Hall.

UCR’s Guardian Scholars Program has been supporting former foster youth since 2008. This program provides a network of resources to students who are “aging out” or “emancipating” from the foster care system to facilitate their successful pursuit of higher education. It draws on the resources, strength and support of the UCR community to provide scholars with a comprehensive college experience and the opportunity to explore and realize their full potential.

Some facts about emancipated foster youth from the UCR Alumni Blog:

  • About 70 percent of teens who emancipate from foster care report that they want to attend college, but fewer than 1 percent graduate from a 4-year university.
  • Within 18 months of emancipation, 40 to 50 percent of foster youth become homeless.
  • Only 46 percent of former foster youth complete high school (compared to 84 percent of the general population).
  • Former foster youth are found to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at two times the level of U.S. war veterans.

To support Dance Marathon 2016 and the UCR Guardian Scholars Program, make a donation at their fundraising page on Crowdrise.

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