Guardian Scholars Program marks 10 years as a safety net for former foster youth

Guardian Scholars is celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing financial, academic and emotional support to nearly 70 former foster youth every year. We caught up with some former students who reflect on the program’s impact on their lives and share what they are up to now.

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n and out of foster homes as a child with no family to call his own, Armone Clemmons ’13 (Social Work), MSW ’15 is now a champion for current foster youth as a social worker for Child Protective Services. 

“I thought, where’s my passion? And I realized that it’s to help others who were in a similar position,” Clemmons says. 

The two-time Sac State alumnus is also a graduate of the Guardian Scholars program and says he is grateful for the safety net he found. 

“Guardian Scholars provided connections to mentors who inspired and encouraged me, and who understood that what I was going through was difficult,” Clemmons says. 

The program, which celebrates it 10th anniversary this year, provides financial, academic and emotional support to nearly 70 former foster youth every year, thanks in part to donations from organizations such as the Ticket to Dream Foundation.

“We’re proud to support the Guardian Scholars program by helping students achieve their dreams and show we believe in them and want them to succeed,” says Dale Carlsen ’84 (Business Administration), president and CEO of the Ticket to Dream Foundation.

As an emergency response social worker, Clemmons is often first on the scene to deal with situations involving children that are all too familiar. “My background as a foster child gives me insight not only to myself, but in other people when I see that they are lost like I used to be,” he says. 

LaTisha San Pedro-Lintag ’08 (Government) also found the Guardian Scholars Program to be a stepping stone to success. In 2007, LaTisha was one of the first students at Sac State to join the Guardian Scholars Program. Little did she know that it would become a lifeline for her as a young mother and student.

“I entered the foster care system at 16 and became a single parent at 19,” she says. “That kind of changed things for me since I was in community college, but I was determined to stay in school.”

She now works at Sac State in the financial aid and scholarship office, where her story has come full circle. 

“If I’m counseling a student and it comes up that they are former foster youth, I’ll share with them information about Guardian Scholars and that I was a part of the program,” she says. “Going to college is already an intimidating experience. Just knowing that this program is available can definitely help these students so they can focus on academics and hopefully graduate.” 

Adds Clemmons, “It was so important for me to be connected with peers and others who understood where I was coming from. It’s been a long road and I’m glad to finally be enjoying the fruits of my labor.”

Alumni Armone Clemmons ’13, MSW ’15 and LaTisha San Pedro-Lintag ’08

Alumni Armone Clemmons ’13, MSW ’15 (top) and LaTisha San Pedro-Lintag ’08 are graduates of Sac State’s Guardian Scholars Program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary of helping former foster youth.

Foster youth education statistics infograph

To support the Guardian Scholars Program or to join in the 10th anniversary celebration Nov. 8 at the Harper Alumni Center, contact Alexandria Hill at (916) 278-2116 or

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