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Whether you are a working professional thinking about heading back for a graduate degree, an undergraduate exploring career options, or a high school student thinking about the future, this site has much of the information you will need.

Applying to graduate school is a complex process, but we’ve broken it down into steps and processes. There are suggestions, links to resources and examples of essays of successful applicants. The information is based on over four years of working with former foster youth, also known as care leavers, pursuing advanced degrees through a pilot project at the University of California Davis, the Guardian Professions Program.

Application Process

The application for an advanced degree is an opportunity to describe your past accomplishments, express your desires and goals for the future, and generally attest to your strength and determination in meeting life’s challenges.


Once you have a fairly clear idea about what advanced degree you wish to pursue, you can begin to make a timeline as to how you are going to complete the many tasks associated with putting together a competitive application.

Additional Funding Resources

You may not have received adequate funding from the program you are planning to attend or you may be looking for additional resources. This is a partial listing of funding sources outside of the fellowships that are available through your department or university. Included are two general search engines and funding for specific populations.


“But I’m not sure what I want to do.”

If this is what comes to mind when you are thinking about graduate school or a professional path, then you are not alone. To contemplate the future, however, you DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. You do not have to name a profession or a job. The important thing is to have a direction — which could be specific or somewhat vague and abstract — that orients you towards the future.


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


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