Community Connections

San Diego Foster Youth Current Events

May 24, 2023

Years of Progress Celebrated in Achieving Foster Youth Education Goals

Over the years, the San Diego community has made incredible strides in supporting foster youth in their pursuit of educational goals. Promises2Kids recently gathered with our partners and supporters in that cause to celebrate the progress we have made together.

Hosted by the Department of Education and Community Outreach at the Division of Extended Studies at UC San Diego in the Park & Market space, we were joined by representatives from local universities and community colleges, government officials, advocates, and former foster youth alumni to celebrate that progress.

Promises2Kids CEO & COO, Tonya Torosian & Stephanie Ortega, expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the tireless collaborative efforts of those gathered that evening. Including:

California State Senator and President Pro Tempore, Toni Atkins, a champion who was instrumental in securing $48M of the ’22-’23 California budget for higher ed programs for foster youth. Senator Atkins reaffirmed her commitment at the governmental level to advocate for opportunities for foster youth.

Guardian Scholar and UCSD alumni, Raul Enciso, who now works at Cuyamaca College, shared his personal journey, the support he received, and how he dedicates himself to providing those same opportunities to students today.

UCSD Vice Chancellor, Dr. Becky Petitt, & Associate Dean for Education and Community Outreach, Dr. Edward Abeyta, both of whom shared the progress they have made in creating opportunities for underserved populations.

It was an afternoon to celebrate, and as always, we were humbled and inspired to have such advocates on our side as together, we continue to create brighter futures for San Diego’s foster youth.

Camp Connect Soars With Their Siblings at iFLY

Who better to encourage you to try something brand new than your brother or sister? That’s just what a group of Camp Connect siblings recently experienced during an exciting afternoon at iFLY Indoor Skydiving and Dave & Busters.

Each youth got to experience floating in midair over the course of two 1-minute flights. Siblings rooted for each other as they soared through the tube. Some of the younger ones were a little intimidated, but their older siblings gave them the courage to face their fears. They did not regret it!

After everyone had their turn, the group moved to Dave & Buster’s for lunch and arcade time. They challenged each other to skee ball and raced on the motorcycle simulator. The highlight for many was cashing in their arcade tickets for fun prizes to take home. Some even pooled their tickets together so the youngest could take home a better prize.

FBI Director Honors Promises2Kids for Outstanding Community Work

We are humbled to announce that Promises2Kids was selected to receive the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

This month, our CEO, Tonya Torosian, traveled to the FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C. to collect this honor personally from FBI Director, Christopher Wray, at their Annual Director’s Community Leadership Awards Ceremony.

This award recognizes organizations and individuals who are steadfastly doing the hard work of improving our communities and the lives of others. Awards like these offer us a chance to reflect on the impact we have made, but more importantly, they inspire us to continue creating brighter futures for San Diego’s foster youth. Without your support, none of this would be possible. Thank you for your commitment to foster children in our community.

Parenting Group Provides a Fun and Educational Evening for Guardian Scholars Parents and Their Children

The parenting group recently gathered for their monthly meeting. This group is for Guardian Scholar parents looking for education and connection. The first half was for playing and community building, then followed by a discussion-based portion where parents shared and learned from each other.

The discussion focused on a very relatable topic: healthy problem solving – how to identify when problems arise, how and when to take ownership, and how to use communication to solve them. Parents were able to share past experiences, successes, and challenges before roleplaying amongst themselves.

As always, the kids enjoyed playing with their peers, while the parents were grateful for the practical and pertinent topic.

Thank you again to for providing childcare! This makes a huge difference for our Guardian Scholars who can then absorb the lessons presented, free of distractions.