Recipients of Grand Canyon University’s foster care scholarships move onto campus

Aug 26, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 12:50 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)...
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)

PHOENIX — Nearly seven months after Grand Canyon University and the state announced the school would provide full-ride scholarships to students in the foster care system, recipients began moving onto campus Wednesday.

April Ciarametaro is one of the 11 Fostering Futures Scholarship recipients for the fall semester.

Ciarametaro entered the foster care system when she was 16 years old and said many people doubted she would end up going to college.

“A lot of people were telling me I wasn’t going to be able to do it because I wouldn’t have the resources and I wouldn’t have the money, but honestly Arizona has a lot of really good programs to help foster care students go to college,” Ciarametaro said.

Ciarametaro is a sophomore nursing student and hopes to become a psychiatric nurse once she graduates.

She explained the resources are there for kids in foster care who want to go to college. She believes it’s possible for any of them to get a higher education.

“You can do it,” Ciarametaro said. “I didn’t think that I would be able to, but here I am halfway through my second year of GCU and I haven’t paid a dime.”

The scholarship will cover 100% of the costs for tuition, fees, and year-round room and board for qualified students.

The program receives money from multiple sources, including scholarships from GCU, the state and the federal level.

Michael Faust, director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, attended move-in day for students and stressed how important programs like this are for students in the foster care system.

“What President Mueller and the GCU team has built with this scholarship program offers a safe place for them to be year round, a supportive and safe network of adults to help them get there, and then now they’re capturing an education that’s going to set them up for success,” Faust said.

In 2019, less than half of foster care kids pursued higher education.

Faust added it’s an opportunity to invest in these kids by celebrating them and providing a supportive network.

These kids experienced foster care through no fault of their own so how can we now pour back into them and help them be successful.”

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Recipients of Grand Canyon University’s foster care scholarships move onto campus