Angelo State University has received a $150,000 gift from the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation in Midland to establish a scholarship endowment for former foster care students attending ASU.
Referred to as foster care alumni, students who age out of the foster care system after turning 18 are eligible for the State College Tuition Waiver. ASU currently has 117 foster care alumni enrolled in classes. However, only 57 of them receive the waiver, including 54 undergraduate students. Plus, the waiver only covers tuition, and even those students receiving the waiver often struggle with the additional costs of housing, meals, transportation, books and other class materials.
The endowment established by the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Foundation’s gift will fund James A. “Buddy” Davidson Foster Care Alumni Scholarships for eligible students to help defray the cost of their ASU education, regardless if they receive the State College Tuition Waiver.
“Many students who are foster care alumni have little to no family to fall back on,” said Jamie Akin, ASU vice president for development and alumni relations. “This incredibly generous gift from the James A. ‘Buddy’ Davidson Foundation gives Angelo State the opportunity to uplift their spirits, break cycles and encourage foster care alumni to obtain their college degree.”
In addition to providing scholarships, ASU also has a program dedicated specifically for current and former foster care students, called Fostering Ram Success. The program is led by Dr. Javier Flores, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, and provides a variety of services, including:
- Admission and financial aid assistance
- Academic advising assistance
- Guidance with campus housing and community services
- Counseling, mentoring and support
- Career exploration
Education Reach for Texans, an organization that supports former foster care youths in their pursuit of higher education. In that capacity, he helps facilitate the sharing of ideas between higher education and child welfare officials geared toward the implementation of campus-based support programs for students who are alumni of foster care.Flores also serves on the Board of Directors and is currently president of
The scholarship endowment is also just the latest partnership between ASU and the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation. Three times since 2009, the foundation has provided $1 million grants to ASU to fund endowed faculty chairs in the departments of Agriculture, Nursing and Physical Therapy.