GUARDIAN SCHOLARS GRADUATES
Alaina, Buena Vista University
Alaina graduated with not only one, but two bachelor's degrees from Buena Vista University. One in psychology and one in human services. She will continue her education in the Nurse Practitioner program at Creighton University. "Reaching this goal would have been truly impossible if I didn’t have my support system. Thank you to those of you that have supported me throughout this journey." – Alaina
Angela, University of Iowa
Angela graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree as a Phi Beta Kappa. She also graduated with high distinction in the top 5% of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and also received departmental honors.
Her plans are to continue her education in the fine arts at the Manifest Drawing Center in Cincinnati.
NICOLE, MOUNT MERCY UNIVERSITY
After attending the Young Entrepreneur Convention in 2016, Nicole went on to write, edit, and publish "Foster to Fosters" on Amazon Kindle in 29 days. The content includes her personal foster care story, her relationships with both her adoptive and birth parents, addiction, obstacles, and motivation. Within 12 hours of releasing "Foster to Fosters" hit #3 Amazon Best Sellers in Adoption, in just the Kindle version.
"After I graduate this semester from Mount Mercy University with my Bachelors in Business Administration and a Minor in Human Resources Management, I plan to continue working with my brand, Foster to Fosters. Writing my book has encouraged me to keep going with my story, which will include motivational speaking, working with at-risk youth, and writing more books! I am excited to meet other individuals in the foster care community and travel around the world. Thank you Guardian Scholars Foundation for believing in me and helping me through my journey!"
Genesis, Iowa State University
Thanks to amazing professors and mentors that have impressed me the clear reality that there is no force outside of myself that can stop me from accomplishing anything, I've decided to pursue carriers in a historical institution or an animal rights organization. I know they don't seem related to one another but why should they? I have many interests that don't correlate to one another but I find it refreshing to indulge in so many viewpoints. Presently, for example, my seven-year-old son has successfully persuaded me to help him develop a game app. He's the creative thinking and I just code what he tells me to. We haven't' made much progress but it's been fun.
After I graduate and my son finishes up the first grade we'll be moving to California. At the moment, I'm trying to get my foot in the historical world. I'm interested in museums, archival institutions, libraries, anything that indulges and grows my interest of the past. Hopefully, in a few years, I'll attend graduate school and pursue anthropology and archeology. I'd like to someday excavate an ancient site in Latin America. That's a long-term goal anyway.
KAYLA, Indian Hills
I am very satisfied with my choice to major in occupational therapy, because it is such a broad field. I can work with older people in nursing homes to learn how not to fall, or I can work with a someone with depression improve self-esteem, or I can work with a child who can't handle being in loud rooms, or who has poor handwriting, or I can work with a drug addict trying to recover, or help someone regain strength and motion in their broken hand. Really, it's limitless, and I love that!
For the next couple months, I will be studying for my boards, so I can become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. After that, I will begin a job search for something that relates to OT and children with disabilities or anything with social justice. In the meantime, I will be going on a couple service trips - Costa Rica at the end of May to tag turtles, and do a pop up medical clinic and Africa in the fall to volunteer at an orphanage with children with special needs, and to help coordinate a camp and obstacle course for kids with special needs. And for fun this summer, I am hiking the Rocky Mountains and going to Las Vegas. While not traveling, I will continue to run my adaptive sports program at the Ottumwa YMCA and continue to do advocating work regarding foster care with the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa in Des Moines and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative in Baltimore. Both organizations are doing phenomenal work to improve the foster care system, and I am honored to be included in on the work!
Ashley, Grand View College
After graduating from Grand View College, Ashley will work toward becoming a Project Manager, then a Program Manager, and eventually a Portfolio Manager or Director of the Enterprise Project Management Office in order to one day become a Chief Information Officer.
EDDYE, DRAKE UNIVERSITY
After studying Sociology and Anthropology at Drake, Eddye attained her goal of working with the Des Moines Juvenile Court. While an undergraduate, she was a Lead Youth Service Worker at Cornerstone and a Young Fellow with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. As a Young Fellow she traveled nationally advocating on behalf of all young people impacted by the foster care system in order to influence and improve policies and practices related to foster youth across the nation.
Jessica, Buena Vista University
Jessica was born in Honduras and lived in Storm Lake from her teen years on. She entered the foster care system at 15 years of age. A single mother, she earned her associate's degree from Iowa Central Community College and transferred to BVU in 2011 to earn her bachelor's degree.
Dez, Buena Vista University
Dez, originally from Mount Pleasant, graduated with an environmental science degree. Dez says his primary motivation for going to college was to have the opportunity to be on the wrestling team. "Wrestling was the main reason that I kept my grades up and continued to stay in school and get my degree," says Dez, who was BVU's team captain for two years. "Through that I was able to find an academic major that I enjoyed." "Looking back, it's hard to believe
how far I have come in my education, as well as a person. The Guardian Scholars program has helped me on my journey," he says. "I was able to focus on things that were important to my education, rather than money."