Meet Juliana, a Guardian Scholars Alumni! She entered foster care when she was 3 years old, due to her mother being unable to care for her. She joined the program in 2008, her senior year of high school, to help meet her educational goals.
With the help of our generous community, Juliana graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. She is thankful to Promises2Kids for supporting her throughout college financially, but is most appreciative for the support system that she’s received since day one, and is still receiving today, 18 years later. She recalls how easy it could have been for her to feel lonely, and confused as a first-year college student away from home, but she knew she could always count on Promises2Kids to lean on for support.
Even after all these years, she still keeps in contact with her coordinator, Stephanie Ortega, who is now Promises2Kids’ Chief Operating Officer, and feels as if she is a part of her family. Stephanie has supported Juliana since she was 17 years old, everything from applying to universities to taking her to lunch when she got her first corporate job.
Now 35, Juliana is an amazing mother to two children, is engaged, and owns a successful small business selling macarons. Juliana is a true inspiration and is proof that beating the odds is possible with support, hard work, and determination. Go show her support, by following her page @themacaronshopsd on social media!
“My advice to foster youth is to utilize every resource you possibly can and stay focused,” shared Juliana. “Go to college… going to college is your ticket into the corporate world, and starting your own business.”