The third annual Dance Marathon was held February 22, 2014 at the Aberdeen Inverness dining hall. The student-led effort is co-sponsored by the Student Alumni Association and Golden Key International Honour Society, Riverside and benefits the Guardian Scholars program at UCR. Guardian Scholars is a vital program which provides assistance to former foster youth who have beaten the odds and are working towards getting their education.
The program offers emotional support, financial support, and ensures that UCR students do not end up on the streets during holiday closures. Some important facts about foster youth:
- 70% of teens who emancipate from foster care report that they want to attend college, but less than 1% graduate from a 4-year university.
- Within 18 months of emancipation 40-50% of foster youth become homeless.
- Only 46% of former foster youth complete high school (compared to 84% of the general population).
- Former foster youth are found to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)at 2 times the level of U.S. war veterans.
To participate in the event, students must raise at least $25, although most contribute much more. Together, students raised over $30,000 to support this vital program. The overall fundraising goal was assisted by an anonymous donor who offered a matching gift of up to $20,000, making the total amount raised over $50,000.
In its three-year history, Dance Marathon has raised over $82,000 to support former foster youth at UCR.
Donations are will be accepted until March 14 on the event’s Crowdrise site.
To donate directly to the Guardian Scholars fund, please visit the program’s giving opportunities page.