This is Coreen Aguilar, she's a Systems Change Advocate at Resources for Independence. There she helps people with disabilities overcome obstacles, and gets them connected and active in the community. She has a passion for it which may come from a past where overcoming obstacles was an hourly occurrence.
"Not understanding why I can't just go and see one of my little brothers or my siblings any time I want. Or not understanding the family politics of divided families."
Coreen spent a great deal of time in foster care, after dealing with substance abuse issues in her family. She was taken away from her siblings, but ended up with her grandmother. Her struggles in life had an impact on her academically. Her grades weren't the best, and she often missed school.
"At that time, I didn't even know what the SAT's were. I didn't know anything about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life."
And that's where a program called Student of Promise comes in.
It's one of the many ways the foundation for Clovis schools supports its teachers and students. At each of the high schools in Clovis Unified, faculty members nominate juniors for the student of promise award. It's for students facing challenges, all the while showing their potential for success.
Mike Fennacy is a foundation director. "There's something, somebody finds something deep down inside that says they want to make a difference, they know who they are, and they're going to prevail amongst the circumstances that's around them."
The amount of the scholarship is impacted by what's raised through the Granville Home of Hope. If ticket sales for that fundraiser are down, so are the scholarships. Usually, it's about a two $1,000 scholarship for each of the students who win. It's an outreach, giving students a chance who might otherwise not get one.
"This is a kid that has struggled in the past academically, struggle with life, even might have had behavior issues, whatever, and they have turned their life around."
Coreen won her student of promise scholarship in 2005. Both she and the Foundation for Clovis Schools are grateful for Granville's sponsorship. Coreen especially so, she's also the beneficiary of another Granville sponsored program called Renaissance Scholars at Fresno State, which helps foster care kids get through college.