MAPS is based on a pilot project developed in 2013 at UC Davis, the Guardian Professions Program (GPP). Initial funding for the project was secured by Davis Campbell, the Chair of the Dean’s Board of Advisors for the UC Davis School of Education and a staunch advocate for foster children and youth. The GPP was supported by the Stuart Foundation, a nonprofit committed to the education and well-being of children, where Mr. Campbell also served on the Board of Trustees. Sylvia Sensiper, PhD, was hired to develop and direct the new project.

From 2013-2017, the GPP worked with students in undergraduate support programs throughout California, as well as former foster youth who had graduated and were already working but wanted to return to graduate school. With assistance from the GPP, over eighty applicants successfully gained admission to advanced degree programs in medicine, academia, dentistry, higher education, counseling, law, social work and public policy, among others. GPP associated students have attended graduate school at public universities across California, at private schools like USC and Stanford, and at out-of-state campuses including the University of Michigan, Midwestern University Dental School, Boston University and Harvard University. 

In 2017, UC Davis re-focused the project’s effort and the GPP became a campus support program solely for former foster youth attending graduate school at the Davis campus. The current GPP supports community activities and provides advising and scholarship funding.

In June of 2020, a group of young professionals who had benefited from the original GPP, began to collaborate on a new organization that would continue the state-wide outreach of the innovative pilot. Today, MAPS (Mentoring for Advanced and Professional Success) works with former foster youth throughout California, assisting undergraduates who are ready to apply to graduate school once they have completed their degree, as well those who are currently working and want to return for an advanced degree.

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