[music]>>Canishiea Robinson: It’s been a big support group. You know, coming out of foster care, you know what I mean, having someone there for you. A group of people
that know what you’ve been through. And you all can like, kind of bond on that and help each other through. So, it’s been a great support system, I would say.>>Raven Kapphahn: It’s just going to be a celebration. It’s going to be relief and just like, all the weight off my shoulders, because I finally made it past the finish line. And I feel like the rest of my life can finally start, because I have the education necessary, the foundation necessary to begin.>>Kizzy Lopez: So we’re really proud
at Fresno State to have an administration that’s committed to the success of these students. Research shows that only 50% of foster youth actually graduate from high school. And so, that means only a small percentage are going on to some post-secondary education, which includes community college or university. And of that, nationally only three to five
percent of student actually graduate with a college degree. So we’re really proud of
what Fresno State and this community is doing to support this group of students and helping them thrive.>>Shayne Northern: It was very nurturing. We met a lot of people going through things similar to you,
you know, both past and present. And just the energy and it was a sense of family.>>Sabrina Luna: Family … because we’ve all kind of been through the same thing. We’ve all had — we’ve all struggled.
We’ve had experience that got us to where we are now. We all have the same motivation and we all stick together. We help each other out because we want to make it through this journey.>>Teri Johnson: It was a really incredible experience. I came to Fresno State not knowing anybody or not having any friends until I got accepted into the program, and then I came, and I had a little mini family to already start off my Fresno State journey.>>Kizzy: We’ve served 98 foster youth students in the Renaissance Scholars program since 2008. And this year we’re getting close to having had 45 students graduate with their bachelor’s degree. And many going on to do quite well.>>Jasmine Johnson: Hi, my name is Jasmine. My major is public health with emphasis in community health. After graduation I plan to sleep … a lot!>>Diana Granda: My major is public health administration, and what I plan to do after I graduate is continue my education, taking pre-med classes, and get into medical school.>>John Hunt: I’m a kinesiology major. After graduation, I’ll continue on into the master’s program for rehabilitation counseling, here at Fresno State.>>Miracle Fauli-Garibay: My major is communications, with a minor in mass communications and journalism and a certificate in cultural competency.>>April Hawkins: My major is social work and, for after graduation, I hope to work with foster youth at the county for case management.>>Joleen Dinning: I’m graduating with my
bachelor’s in political science.>>Canishiea: My major is criminology with an option in law enforcement.>>Raven: My major is sociology. I have a Minor in Family Science and a Certificate in Administration
and Leadership for Community Benefit Organizations.>>Shayne: My major is business management and I want to go on and own my own business someday.>>Teri: Hi, my name is Teri, and I’m a child development major.>>Sabrina: Hi, my name is Sabrina, and my major is interior design.>>Kizzy: We’re here as a community
of support and family. To really see them to the finish line and help them accomplish their dreams and goals of earning a college degree.>>Joleen: When I had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn to, this program, you know, lifted me up and without this program I wouldn’t be here about to graduate, getting my bachelor’s degree. I would probably be homeless or in jail.>>Raven: I’m just excited to know that we came from such a background
and with the help and support we’ve gotten, that we all have finally made it. And it’s just so encouraging and it just
makes me so happy to see that we’ve finally made it.