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Santa Monica College|Student Services|EOPS|Guardian Scholars Program

Guardian Scholars Program


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

  • Tutoring

  • Community-based referrals and resources

  • Independent Living Program (ILP) Referrals

  • Meal Assistance

  • Mental Health Referrals

  • Network Building

  • Student Success Workshops

  • Transportation Assistance​


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. Or click "apply now" to open the Guardian Scholars application:

Guardian Scholars Application


Santa Monica College

Guardian Scholars Program

Student Services Building , RM 104

1900 Pico Blvd

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 434-4491


​Meet a Few of our Guardian Scholars Success Stories....


Marilyn Perez-Garcia

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.


Jhana Best

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.


Asia Craig

Major: Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Science


Scholarship Recipient:

Guardian Scholar Scholarship (3-D scholarship fund)

The David Simon Scholarship for Osher Scholars

 The Guardian Scholars program has been of great help to me. I am very grateful for the supportive services I have received from the Guardian Scholars program. Such services are book assistance, meal assistance, fee reimbursement, counseling, supplies, holiday celebrations, workshops, work study and so much more. Most importantly the Guardian Scholar program has successfully helped me to embrace my passion of becoming a social worker. I am very proud and honored to be a part of the Guardian Scholars program. Therefore, I would like to encourage Guardian Scholars students to stay on this wonderful path.