The MAPS mission is to increase the number of California’s former foster youth who are successful in applying to advanced degree programs. MAPS stands for Mentoring for Advanced and Professional Success and the organization is primarily focused on mentoring at the critical point of application preparation. MAPS is also developing classes, information sessions and seminars that will help young adults with lived experience in foster care understand what kind of career opportunities are available with a graduate or professional degree and how they can become competitive applicants.

MAPS volunteer mentors are established professionals, including business analysts, professors, teachers, social workers, lawyers, counselors, college advisors and dentists. Our mentors are well aware of the educational adversity faced by young adults with a background in foster care because they share that experience.

MAPS is coordinated by Sylvia Sensiper, PhD and Arnice St.Remy, MS, experienced administrators who work with the mentors and provide classes and support. The mentors provide the one-on-one coaching for prospective students and also form an advisory committee that will develop processes and protocols as the organization grows. Additionally, MAPS has enlisted the help of a group of professional affiliates who can share their knowledge about specific degrees or programs during a career conversation with a prospective student, but do not have the time to mentor.

MAPS is a sponsored project of the Marcus Foster Education Institute (MFEI) located in Oakland, California. MFEI is a 501 (c) 3 and is committed to improving the educational outcomes and opportunities for students in their city’s public schools. MFEI provides administrative support for MAPS and is a fiscal sponsor for other projects as well. More information about MFEI can be found on their website: https://www.marcusfoster.org/


We post news about our upcoming classes on preparing for graduate school and our Zoom presentations on topics of interest. We also post information about our applicants and their successes in getting into graduate and professional school programs.


In the summer of 2020, a group of young professionals began to collaborate to create MAPS, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of California’s care leavers applying for advanced degrees. The work is based on a pilot project developed at UC Davis. 


We are happy to answer any and all questions you have about MAPS and getting help with your graduate school application. However, please check in our FAQ to see if we have already answered your question. If you want to chat, our email is coordinators@maps-ca.org

We aim to increase the number of care leavers entering advanced degree programs and are dedicated to helping every one of our applicants succeed. But we also have a bigger picture in mind. We want to help change the narrative traditionally associated with foster care. 

We help California’s former foster youth apply to graduate programs and professional schools by providing the knowledge each applicant needs to create a competitive application and succeed.

MAPS is a California non-profit