The YWCA Santa Monica / Westside has provided transitional housing and education to young women emancipated from the foster care system for over 14 years. Over the years, 100% of our graduates have completed a two-year degree or a vocational certification. Many have gone, or desire to go, on to complete a four-year degree or advanced training. While we work closely with our residents to plan for continuing education - including a stringent savings plan and applying to financial aid and scholarships - students still come up short for their educational expenses.
With a lead gift from the College Access Foundation, the YWCA has established the Transitional Housing and Education Program Alumni Scholarship Fund. YWCA staff reach out to participants each month to offer emotional support if needed, resources, and a scholarship allotment. In turn, participants must maintain a "C" average and/or meet equivalent passing criteria.
This program fits well with the mission of the YWCA. We are dedicated to assisting young women emancipated from the foster care system in making a smooth transition to adulthood. It is also the perfect extension of our Transitional Housing and Education Program. Statistically, former foster youth have very low rates of participation in higher education - only 3% graduate from college. We want to change this.
To contribute to our scholarship fund please click here.
If you are an alumna of the Transitional Housing and Education Program and would like more information about our scholarship program, please contact Maria Abenes, Housing Director at (310) 314-1466 or