College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dare to Achieve Scholarship

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    Did you know:

    • 58 percent of college students are first generation (neither mother or father graduated from a four year university)
    • 70 percent of college students work full time and 4 out of 5 work at least part time just to make ends meet
    • Nearly 50 percent of students on Chico State campus suffer from food insecurity
    • Less than 3 percent of foster youth graduate from college

    With these daunting statistics, it is not hard to imagine the difficulties college students face when simply trying to educate themselves. No group is more aware of the real life struggles of our students than the faculty whom have daily interactions. The students basic financial needs going unmet moved several BSS Faculty and donors to generously fund a “needs based” scholarship to help alleviate the unnecessary financial stress on already stressed students. 

    This newly formed scholarship, named the BSS Dare to Achieve Scholarship was awarded for the first time this fall to one very deserving student. Caitlin is the proud recipient who shared, while fighting back emotion, that the news of receiving the scholarship came at a time when she didn’t know how she was going to pay for tuition.  She is in her senior year and said the scholarship was a blessing. 

    Caitlin grew up in the foster care system, where she lived in 11 homes during her childhood.  She knows first-hand that only 3 percent of foster youth graduate from college and explains that foster care just doesn’t prepare a child for college.  Without resources, she became her own advocate and chose the path of being a voice for youth in similar situations as she grew up.  She has stood on the steps of the Capitol and spoke about her experiences in foster care system and witnessed two bills being passed to help advocate for foster youth empowerment.  Caitlin said she never felt like she fit in anywhere in her life, living in the foster care system; however, now in her senior year at Chico State, she happily exclaimed, “I feel like Chico is my home and I finally belong.”

    This scholarship was established to provide recognition to dedicated students who have declared a major in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and has a demonstrated financial need for support and dedication to serving their community. Caitlin embodies the meaning of this scholarship and there are so many more stories like hers.

    Can you imagine the different college experience our students would have if their biggest concern is actually assignments, reports, and finals rather than worrying where money for books, food or rent will come from? It is the College’s hope that the number of these scholarships can increase from 1 to 2 or even 5! With your help and generosity, we can truly make a difference in our student’s lives.

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