Guardian Scholars Program

Our Mission

SDSU Guardian Scholars (GS) Program is a holistic support program committed to serving students who identify as current or former foster youth, wards of the court, under legal guardianship or unaccompanied homeless youth by supporting their transition to, through and beyond SDSU.

The Office of Educational Opportunity Programs, Outreach and Success (EOPOS) oversees the program and serves as the main resource for Guardian Scholars. EOP offers on-going services such as tutoring, mentoring, summer transitional programs, and intensive personal and academic counseling. In addition, GS offers scholarships, a year-round housing award for on or off campus living, priority registration, wellness coaching, a dedicated resource area, and a team of friendly staff to offer support and connection to on-campus and local resources.


The 8 Pillars of GS Service

  • Persistence to Graduation - For all GS students to have ample support, challenge, and praise to persist to graduation 
  • Housing Stability - Provide on and off campus housing assistance opportunities for all Guardian Scholars
  • Identity Development - Explore multiple facets of personal identity to promote self-awareness, personal growth, and career preparation
  • Financial Competence - Provide opportunities to expand working knowledge of financial fundamentals such as, but not limited to, budget management, credit card use, and taking out a student, car, or personal loan
  • Healthy Relationships - Provide education on forming and maintaining healthy relationships and opportunities to develop connections within and beyond our GS program
  • Physical/Emotional Wellness - Offer opportunities to explore, assess, and apply various forms of self-care
  • Life Skills Development - Provide opportunities to learn how to set and achieve goals, resolve conflict, solve problems, and communicate effectively
  • Employment Readiness - Provide opportunities to enhance their academic, personal, and career profile and assist in preparing students for the transition to graduate school or the working world

How to Become an SDSU Guardian Scholar

Step 1: Complete the SDSU Undergraduate Admissions Application at

  • Fill out Personal Information section completely
    • Application Information section: must be completed if you identify as Former Foster Youth, Ward of the Court, Unaccompanied Homeless.
    • Parent/Guardian Information section: must be completed if you identify as Guardianship (please list legal guardian as “Guardian”)
    • Application Period: October 1 - November 30

Step 2: Apply to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

  • Reply “YES” to “Do you wish to apply to the Educational Opportunity Program?"
  • Complete additional EOP questions including:

If applicable: Are you independent of parental support?

  • Application Period: October 1 - January 15 (of each year) for fall admission

Step 3: Submit the GS Prospective Student Application by January 15. You will be notified between March-April regarding your admission status to SDSU and Guardian Scholars.

Services and Benefits

  • GS First Meet Up
  • GS Scholarships
  • GS Housing Award - On and Off Campus Assistance
    • View our GS Housing Award Program for Prospective Landlords here.
  • Fall and Spring Care Packages
  • Fall and Spring Kick-Offs
  • GS University Seminar Class (Fall and Spring)
  • Monthly Meetings
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Thanksgiving and Graduation Celebration Dinners
  • Free Test Materials (scantrons, blue books)
  • Guardian Scholars Resource Area
  • Dress to Express: Senior Professional Attire Shopping Day
  • Invitations to donor and campus sponsored events

Resources for Current Guardian Scholars

For more information on eligibility, SDSU Guardian Scholars, application process or resources and services provided to Guardian Scholars, contact:

Bryan Spencer

Bryan Spencer

Assistant Director


Nia Williams

G.S. Coordinator


Marie Brañes

G.S. Program Assistant Coordinator


The Guardian Scholars “Squad”

  • Michael Juan, Ph.D., Associate Director, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Koko Nishi, Ph.D., Psy.D, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Marielena Garibay, LMFT, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Tri Nguyen, LMFT, Ph.D., Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Vanessa Casanova, LCSW, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Fabian Escobedo, LCSW, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Shareka White, EOPOS Director
  • Bryan Spencer, EOPOS Assistant Director, Guardian Scholars
  • Nia Williams, GS Program Coordinator
  • Marie Brañes, GS Assistant Program Coordinator
  • Charnise Bumpus, EOPOS Counselor
  • Bianca Rodrigues, EOPOS Counselor
  • Jose Velazquez Mancilla, Graduate Student Assistant

Contact Us

EOP Front Desk                                          GS Admissions Email
(619) 594-6298                                            [email protected]                                        

Office Location & Hours
San Diego State University, Student Services East 2109

Permanent Mailing Address
EOP, Outreach and Success
Attn: SDSU Guardian Scholars Program
Student Services East 2109
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-8222

It is not enough to teach our young people to be they can realize their ambitions, so they can earn good livings, so they can accumulate the material things that this society bestows. Those are worthwhile goals. But it is not enough to progress as individuals while our friends and neighbors are left behind.” —Cesar Chavez