The UC Santa Barbara Guardian Scholars Program supports the academic and personal success of students who have been part of the foster care system. Program services include academic support, enrichment services, student advocacy, career guidance, peer networking, housing assistance, and financial aid advising.
The Guardian Scholars Program at UCSB currently supports approximately 180 students. The program helps to ensure that incoming students have a smooth transition into the UCSB community and are provided with a network of services to enhance their educational experience. The program provides scholarship opportunities, community building, leadership opportunities, campus resource referrals, mentoring, social support, and much more!
A foundation of the UCSB Guardian Scholars Program is the belief that services or programs for foster youth should be defined by the youth themselves.
- Ensure incoming students experience a smooth transition into the UCSB community
- Provide a network of services to enhance the educational experiences of students from matriculation through graduation
- Establish a network of campus departments & personnel who will assist students as they process all university business matters (Financial Aid, Housing, registration, etc.).
- Provide academic advising that supports academic success
- Provide leadership opportunities that enhance personal growth, career enhancement, and graduate school opportunities
- Build a peer support network in which currently enrolled students serve as mentors to prospective students considering higher education
- Participate in advocacy efforts both on campus and statewide to promote awareness of issues affecting foster youth.
Coordinator, Guardian Scholars Program
Office Hours: T & TH 8am - 5pm PT
Office of Admissions, 1234 Cheadle Hall
(805) 893 -7349
Book an appointment with me!
If you wish to speak to anyone on our staff or wish to text in a quick question, feel free to use the following cell number: (805) 451 -1407
Director, Guardian Scholars Program
Office Hours: M & W 8am-5pm PT
(805) 893 - 5631
Book an Appointment with me!
Guardian Scholars Program Advisor
and UCSB Director of Admissions
Office of Admissions, 1234 Cheadle Hall
Our Peer Advisors are students of the Guardian Scholars Program who have been hired to assist in programmatic activities and development. As the front line staff, the Peer Advisors are the face of the program from the perspective of their fellow students. They facilitate meetings, plan and conduct student activities, and lead the student organization of the program.
Hayson Tasher is from South Los Angeles and is a third year English major at UCSB. In his free time he enjoys playing guitar, playing video games, and watching YouTube. If you have any questions about the Guardian Scholars Program, feel free to reach out to Hayson via email at email@example.com.
Political Science major
Lili Thurn is from Arvin, California and is second year Political Science major at UCSB. In her free time she enjoys singing, hiking and working out, and watching new TV series and movies. If you have any questions about the Guardian Scholars Program, feel free to reach out to Lili via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guardian Scholars Advisory Committee is made up of a dozen UCSB staff who have volunteered to serve as their respective departmental liaisons to the program and our students. Due to their support, Guardian Scholars receive priority consideration, expedited appointments, and most of all, access to compassionate staff with whom they can trust.
Visit the Student Affairs website for a list of university departments that may be helpful to you.
Position: Financial Aid Advisor, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Phone: (805) 893-2386
Position: Writing, ESL & Foreign Language Coordinator, CLAS
Phone: (805) 893-4757
Dr. Meridith Merchant
Position: Psychologist, Counseling Services
Phone: (805) 893-4411
Position: Assistant Director, Apartment Assignment Services, Housing and Residential Services
Phone: (805) 893-7391
Position: Basic Needs and Rapid Rehousing Manager, Basic Needs Resources
Phone: (805) 893-5949
Position: Academic Advisor, College of Letters and Science
Phone: (805) 893-2948
Position: Career Counselor, Career Services
Phone: (805) 893-4649
Position: Counselor, Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
Phone: (805) 893-4578
Position: Chief Social Worker, Student Health
Phone: (805) 893-3380