Achieving success by exceeding all expectations

Berkeley Hope Scholars (formerly the Cal Independent Scholars Network) is a unit of the Centers for Educational Equity & Excellence (CE3). BHS is the academic retention program at UC Berkeley supporting incoming freshman, transfer, and continuing undergraduate students who are currently in foster care, recently emancipated from care or are orphaned, and certified independent by the Financial Aid Office. Founded in 2005 with one student, the Berkeley Hope Scholars program has delivered direct services to over 140 students. Currently, we are 60 students strong!  

One of our principal goals is to create a safe and welcoming community where students can thrive.  We build relationships with Berkeley Hope Scholar students from the moment they arrive on campus by welcoming them into the BHS community. Since 2005, Berkeley Hope Scholars has delivered comprehensive services to BHS students to ensure their academic success, personal development, and realization of educational and career goals. Based on notions of mutual support, self-advocacy and mentoring, BHS assists students in their transition to college and pathway through the University.

 Program Components

  • Fall Transition Course: "Ensuring Success for Foster Youth in Higher Education"
  • Monthly academic and enrichment workshops
  • Referral to BHS liaisons for academic and personal needs
  • Supplemental financial aid
  • Mentorship and career development 

Program Objectives

  • Provide access to academic and personal support resources
  • Facilitate academic enrichment and career opportunities
  • Supplemental financial aid support for unmet needs
  • Advance "paying it forward" by requiring students to participate n community service
  • Promote self-advocacy and life skills
  • Create a safe and trusting community space for BHS students