NextUp offers services for foster youth going to Bakersfield College


Hope Denny

Marcela Gamino, the Educational Advisor. Maria Rojas, the Department Assistant. Chase Amos, the Educational Advisor. Imelda Simos-Valdez, a director. Jeff Stambook, a Counselor. Maria Baltazar, the Program Manager pose by the NextUp program banner.

Hope Denney, Reporter

Bakersfield College is currently offering a program for foster youth called NextUp and is welcoming students to stop by the second floor of the CSS Building.

This new program started up last August and has been ready and fully-equipped to help out foster youth in need.

NextUp, also known as Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support (CAFYE), program offers help for current or former foster youth under the age of 26, in foster care on or after their 16th birthday.

Foster youths must be enrolled in nine school units when entering the program (with exceptions for DSPS eligible students).

If a student does not have these qualifications, there are other services and options that the NextUp team will help a student with.

“If students come in needing help, we will move mountains to help to get them where they want to go,” Chase Amos, the Educational Advisor for NextUp, said.

If a student doesn’t meet the criteria for NextUp, foster students still qualify for EOPS.

No student will be turned away and walk-ins are welcome.

The NextUp team goal is to assist students in reaching the academic goals they have.

NextUp offers services that are individualized for students. Services such as priority registration, meals, books, school supplies, child care, ride assistance, counseling, education planning, emergency housing assistance and food assistance and emotional support.

This program is designed specifically for the needs of foster youth in the educational environment.

NextUp is working with Dream Center and other non-profit organizations. This collaboration will help provide more opportunities and services for foster youth students.