Youth Spotlights

NYFC's Guardian Scholars

Katia, John Jay College

Katia will be entering her last semester this fall. She is studying Forensic Psychology at John Jay College. She is described as a diligent student whose example inspires the other youth at her foster care agency. She was placed into foster care after losing her mother to a violent act. She did not let this tragedy destroy the dreams she had set for herself. She wanted to fulfill her mother’s wishes for her and her brothers – and that is to pursue a college education.

Seong, Hunter College
Seong is finishing her junior year at the Macaulay Honors Program, a CUNY program for academically gifted students. She is passionate about women’s rights, especially surrounding reproductive and sexual health, and is interested in studying International Relations.

Seong was recently selected as an essay contest winner for Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) essay competition on sexual and reproductive health rights of teenagers. She was invited to attend a three-day summit at Washington, DC. She has also participated in the Columbia University Science Honors Program and the Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program, learning more about human physiology/psychology and women’s global/domestic health issues, respectively.

Due to her experiences in foster care, Seong feels a desire to give back to her community. She was the President of Amnesty International chapter at her school and has been civically engaged in the Korean community through her involvement in the Korean American Voters’ Council and the Korean American Youth Foundation.

Amara, John Jay College
Amara is a senior at John Jay College. He began his college career at Kingsborough Community College, where he received his Associate’s Degree.  Amara is originally from the Republic of Guinea and moved to the United States with his brother at the age of 16. Both were immediately placed into foster care. He has witnessed tremendous violence and loss in his home country. He quickly learned English and graduated high school a semester early and with Honors.

College has always been a goal for Amara. He was inspired by a friend who graduated from college and achieved his dreams. With hard work, Amara knew he would be able to succeed in college as well. He would be the first member of his family to have the opportunity to attend college and he hopes to inspire his younger brother to be on a similar path.