The Guardian Scholars Program was founded at California State University, Fullerton in 1998 by Ron Davis, in an effort to make educational dreams come true for foster youth. The program design offers a comprehensive model that has since become nationally recognized as a highly successful, life-changing program for challenged foster youth. Through creative collaboration, scholarship recipients are empowered to achieve their dreams of earning a college education and launching a successful life. In over 30 colleges and universities in California, the program model is utilized nationally and has served thousands of aspiring student Scholars. The Guardian Scholars Program is credited with bringing the needs and challenges of a forgotten population – foster youth – to the hearts and minds of many communities in America.
In 2003, Ron and his wife Lucy identified the needs of first generation youth who were highly qualified and academically-minded, yet financially challenged living in the Vail Valley of Colorado. With generous support from program donors, called Guardian Angels, the Guardian Scholar model was applied locally. Our Angels have grown Guardian Scholars in the valley, developing partnerships with students, local organizations and educational institutions. Operating in Eagle County, Guardian Scholars obtained independent status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 2013; the program is currently serving 36 local high school graduates in partnership with Colorado Mesa University and Colorado Mountain College. Many of the Scholars are the first in their family to attend college. With the program’s recognized success, Guardian Scholars has once again emerged as a successful model for providing higher education to deserving, yet economically challenged youth in the Eagle River Valley.