Student Transition and Academic Retention Team (START)

Note to students: The content on this page applies to students at both the Pleasant Hill and San Ramon campuses.

START is a Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI)  support program designed to increase access, retention, and graduation rates for current or former foster youth at DVC. Our goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment, create a support network, and empower foster youth students to make progress towards self-sufficiency, professional success, and community leadership.

How can START Foster Youth Services help you?

  • Assistance with enrollment (application, orientation, assessment, and registration)
  • Setting up an appointment with an academic counselor to obtain an educational plan
  • Processing eligibility for priority registration
  • Expedited financial aid processing (FAFSA, California Promise Grant, CHAFEE, Missing Information Checklist, etc.)
  • Access to John Burton Foundation's book fund (while supplies last)
  • Assistance with scholarship applications and provide letters of recommendation
  • Assistance with Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) application
  • Direct referrals to other support programs on campus (DSS, Tutoring, Career, Transfer, etc.)
  • Referrals to off-campus resources (housing, child care, transportation, food banks, etc.)
  • Monthly social gatherings, workshops, and celebrations
  • On-campus employment and leadership opportunities
  • Regular check-ins with START program staff

How to apply for the START Foster Youth Services program 

To apply for the START Foster Youth Services program, students must complete the following:

  1. Complete START Program Application Form
  2. Schedule an in-take appointment with START program coordinator by emailing or calling 925-969-2203
  3. Submit a ward of the court letter, verifying that you are or were in court-ordered, out of home, care placement between the ages of 13-18

Contact START Foster Youth Services

Office location: SSC 127, Pleasant Hill campus map 
Request counseling:  For current students only: START counseling appointment request form
New or prospective students: please email us