Largest Class of Guardian Scholars
May 29, 2003 :: No. 248
|Business major and Garden
Grove resident Zigmond Berridge, center, is congratulated
by CSUF President Milton A. Gordon, right, along with
alumnus and chair of the Guardian Scholars Advisory Board,
Ron Davis, left.
View all scholars
Some may call them survivors. Others may marvel
at the incredible journeys they’ve already taken in their
young lives. However one envisions them, come this weekend,
seven Guardian Scholars will join several thousand of their peers
in caps and gowns as members of Cal State Fullerton’s Class
of 2003 — and will be the largest graduating class since the
More than just a scholarship, the Guardian Scholars
program acknowledges the accomplishments of students who have left
the foster care system, were wards of the court or come from similar
backgrounds. Lacking even basic resources during the transition
to adulthood, they are willing but not yet able to help themselves
fully — often struggling without families and the financial,
emotional and psychological safety nets that their classmates rely
The graduating scholars are:
• Joanne Armstrong of Santa Ana, who will
receive her B.S. in child and adolescent development. Currently
working as a group counselor to help abused and neglected children
at Orangewood Children’s Home, she plans to enroll in USC’s
School of Social Work in 2004 and pursue her dreams of becoming
a social worker and child advocate.
• Business major and Garden Grove resident Zigmond
Berridge recently interned with Granite Investments and,
in addition to raising two daughters with his wife, works at Orangewood
Children’s Foundation as a site coordinator for the Rising
Tide Program — a transitional housing program designed to
assist former foster youth in their efforts toward self-sufficiency.
• Hilda Chavez-Williams of
Fullerton also graduates with a B.S. in child and adolescent development.
During a semester abroad in London last spring, she met her future
husband, who she will join in England after the summer. Chavez plans
to become a teacher and earn an advanced degree in education.
• Buena Park resident Tiffany Garcia
is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.
She recently began working as a preschool teacher and will begin
Fullerton’s teaching credential program this fall.
• Anaheim resident and theatre and dance major
Jason McBeath recently returned from Washington,
D.C., where he competed for the top acting award during the Kennedy
Center American College Theater Festival. He facilitated a “Day
of Reflection” for students struggling with the traumatic
events of Sept. 11. McBeath, who starred in the tile role of this
month’s campus production of “The Talented Mr. Ripley,”
will pursue an acting career following graduation.
• Amber Peek of Anaheim will
earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her goals include
working with young children and having an impact on their lives.
• Business major and Fountain Valley resident
Aaron Terreri has worked at various financial institutions
and expanded his knowledge of real estate management. Ultimately,
he hopes to earn an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance.
In addition to providing funds, the Guardian Scholars
program offers assistance in navigating campus life in and outside
the classroom — on-campus housing and employment opportunities,
counseling, peer and faculty mentoring programs, financial aid application
assistance and enrollment in the university’s Fullerton First
Since its inception in 1998, and believed to be the
first program of its kind in California, Guardian Scholars has served
as a model for other institutions — UC Irvine, Fullerton College,
Chapman University, Cal Poly Pomona, Orange Coast College, Hope
University, Concordia University and American Career College —
that have created similar programs to serve foster youth.
||Jenny Mohr, director of Guardian Scholars, 657-278-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Matsunaga, Public Affairs, 657-278-4851 or email@example.com
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