Conference shows foster kids options
Posted May 19, 2006

Gabby De La Cruz
Staff Writer

“Conquering Life Through Education,” a conference put on to educate foster children about higher education, was put on by three inspired University of la Verne students, Monique Chambers, Ana Casteneda and Christan Krusic.

The event, which lasted all day last Friday, took place in different classrooms throughout the University.

Chambers, sophomore psychology major, along with Casteneda first came up with the idea and then Krusic joined the team. Going above and beyond, the three women decided to do is as part of a project for class which would not only educate them, but others as well.

“Me and Ana were both inspired to do this,” Chambers said. “Then, we decided to do it as part of a project and Christan volunteered to be a part of it as well.”

Krusic, a junior psychology major, explained that the event was put on to teach foster children that they have much to look forward to after foster homes.

“We want to point the children in the right direction of higher education,” Krusic said. “We also want to promote an overall successful life for them.”

The event began with a lunch and registration followed by a introduction by Chambers. Then, the children were broken up into groups and taken to workshops that taught them about different subjects such as how to apply for college, scholarships, grants and FAFSA.

In addition, there were other workshops, which focused on other options for higher education, such as air force, military and studying abroad.
Each child received a bag with pens, pencils, notepads, a FAFSA application, a student guide from the department of education and even candy.

Kelby Butterwick, a junior movement and sport science major, volunteered by helping with registration and check-in.

“I think this event was a great idea,” Butterwick said. “I am very proud of the girls for putting it together.”

After several workshops, booths and a panel, the children got an opportunity to play games and win prizes.

In order to put on the event, the three women asked for donations from people and places around the area and received support from places such as the city of Upland, Mortgage Investors Capital Fund and Alpha Lamda Delta, an honor society at the University.

Krystle Luckey, a senior movement and sport science major, also volunteered behind the pages at the event.

“I am the registration clerk; I put together all of the certificates and help with other areas other than with the children,” Luckey said.

The participants ended their night with a social and an opportunity for networking with people who participated in the event.

The event, which started out as a small classroom project, is already in the works for next year. The founders want to make it an annual event which will help foster children around the area.

“I definitely want to be a part of this again next year, I believe it will only get better and better as each year comes,” Krusic said. “It has been a great experience touching other people’s lives.”

Gabby De La Cruz can be reached at

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