Success Stories

Fostering Opportunities Scholarship Fund Success Stories


Shari Leiton has been with FOSF since 2008. She graduated in June 2011 from UCSD, majoring in Ethnic Studies and Sociology with an emphasis in law.

She dreams of being a public defender for juveniles because she believes they don’t have adequate representation.

Shari is grateful for FOSF. She says that the support of the donors, board members, volunteers and mentors helped her achieve her greatest goal — graduating from college.

Shari’s mentor was one of her highlights while with Fostering Opportunities. She describes Cheryl Ward, her mentor, as caring, loving and understanding.

“Cheryl has given me good advice,” Shari shared. “Having Cheryl as a mentor has made a difference in my life. She always checks to see how I’m doing and brings a smile to my face.”

Because of Shari’s dedication to the community, she was the recipient of the Juvenile Justice Award by the San Diego County Juvenile Commission.

Shari is currently working as a legal assistant.


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Josh Bernard has been involved with Fostering Opportunities since 2008.

He attended Grossmont College and transferred to San Diego State University in the fall of 2011. He is majoring in criminal justice. He hopes to attend graduate school to earn his Master’s degree.

Although Josh’s college experience has been a struggle at times, he’s stayed with it and is happy with his progress.

Josh’s early life was difficult for him. He entered the foster care system in 2001. Eventually, he was paired with a family that changed his life. He considers them his real family. They helped him get through school and made sure he started college.

Fostering Opportunities has helped Josh so much. Without their constant support, he feels that he would not be in college right now. Fostering Opportunities has given $9,5000 in scholarships to Josh.


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Shonta Battle Graduation 2012

Shonta Battle graduated from San Diego State in May 2012 and receive her degree in Gerontology with a minor in Social Work.

She hopes to work for the county and create a business plan that will teach youth and older individuals coping skills through use of the arts. After graduation, she would like to pursue a Masters degree in clinical social work.

Shonta was in foster care since age 16. FOSF has enhanced Shonta’s life by initiating a connection between her and her mentor that she says will be kept even after graduation.

FOSF has been a great resource alleviating the financial burden in attaining a college education.

During the past six years Shonta she has received almost $10,000 in scholarships from FOSF. Shonta is looking forward to her future and says unequivocally, “I can make a difference. I know I can.”