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The Guardian Scholars Program supports the academic and personal goals of current and former foster youth attending Santa Monica College. Our goal is to support, connect and increase academic awareness and achievement as students embark on their journey within higher education.


 A student is eligible for Guardian Scholars if he/she meets the following criteria:

  1. Current of former foster youth

  2. Currently enrolled in at least 9 units

  3. Between the ages of 17-24


  • Academic, Career and Transfer Counseling

  • Priority Enrollment

  • Assistance with Financial Aid & CHAFEE Applications

  • Tutoring

  • Community-based referrals and resources

  • Independent Living Program (ILP) Referrals

  • Meal Assistance

  • Transportation Assistance

  • Mental Health Therapy (on-site therapist)

  • Student Success Workshops


If you are interested in participating in the Guardian Scholars Program, you can pick up an application in the EOPS office, Room 104 of the Student Services complex. 

For more information or questions, please contact:

Debra Locke

Guardian Scholars Coordinator

(310) 434-4449



Santa Monica College

Guardian Scholars Program

Student Services Complex, RM 104

1900 Pico Blvd

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 434-4491


​Meet a few of our Guardian Scholar success stories....



Major: Psychology

School of Transfer: University of California, Riverside

Coming into Guardian Scholars, I truly didn’t know what to expect. Interestingly, one of the first connections I made was with Debra Locke, the Guardian Scholars coordinator, who similar to my family was also British. This small detail made all the difference in the world, because not only did she make me feel right at home, but was also a truly caring mentor. When I first learned how foster youth have a 3% chance of earning a Bachelorette Degree, I wanted nothing more than to not be the 97%. When I found out that I will be transferring with a full scholarship to University of California, Riverside I spent the whole day crying. Therefore, my message to anyone in foster care is to know that education is truly a chance at a better life.



Major: Psychology 

School of Transfer: University of California, Davis

With the help of the Guardian Scholars Program, especially the counselors, I was able to finish my transfer requirements within two years! They were really supportive and they keep you on the right path. My message to anyone in foster care is to never stop striving for more and always ask for help when you need it because the counselors are always there. They always have the answers and if not then they will help you find them.