A non-profit fights for foster kids amid crisis

Friends of San Pasqual Academy has always gone the extra mile to provide resources for foster children in need. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, that didn’t change. It grew.

“Friends of San Pasqual Academy is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides all the ‘extras’ that a child needs to have a normal high school experience and provides for the care and welfare of the student. Some kids come to us with just the clothes on their backs. The needs of these students are huge. 

“San Pasqual Academy is unique. It is both home and school for 80 foster teens. These kids have overcome abuse, neglect and the trauma of being removed from their home by Child Protective Services of San Diego County, through no fault of their own. The school is the first of its kind.

“Now, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the school has been closed to all non-essential staff and any visitors. Since it is a county-ordered shut down, the teachers are gone. The staff that is still here is responsible for making sure that 80 teenagers stay safe, healthy and entertained. 

“They have individual cottages, that each has its own kitchen. That’s where the kids stay with their house parents and San Pasqual Academy day staff.  The kids are social distancing, trying to keep busy. 

“We just bought board games, Play Stations, any type of activity products to keep them busy.  There is a lot of outdoor space on campus, so they are getting outside, going in groups of less than 10 to do outdoor activities like scavenger hunts and hiking. The staff is encouraging reading and academic activities.

“Our organization is also supporting 70 alumni kids who are in college or trade school. Some of them have come back ‘home’ and are staying at the transitional houses.  They are under strict guidelines and they just can’t come and go and be circulating.  We’ve also been checking in with our other alumni kids, making sure they have a place to stay, either with a roommate or friends.

“This year we have 18 graduating seniors. They are all going to college or trade school, so we support them with application fees, the school supplies, books, housing expenses and more. And we make sure that they have dorm supplies, sheets, pillows towels Irons laundry baskets full of cleaning supplies. We have a group that makes them homemade quilts to put on their dorm bed. We coordinate with other nonprofit groups that donate these items. I doubt people have been gathering to put these items together or to make quilts.  It is uncertain right now what our graduates are going to be receiving.  We are going to need funds to purchase those items.

“We have been taking care of our kids for 20 years and we want to continue taking care, to provide support and show them that the community still cares about them. We always say, ‘what you do for your kids, we do for ours.’ We want them to know that they are a priority in our lives, and they have not been forgotten.”


Joan Scott-President, Friends of San Pasqual Academy