Kennesaw State’s Campus Awareness, Resource and Empowerment Services (CARES) program is getting the national spotlight.
According to the CARES website, CARES is a program dedicated to supporting students at the university who have “experienced homelessness, food insecurity and/or the foster care system.”
The director of CARES, Marcy Stidum said that the program was spotlighted because of its national recognition and the efforts of the program over the last 10 years.
CARES also produced another program, ASCEND, which has significantly impacted students at the university as well.
According to the CARES website, ASCEND is a program dedicated to giving students experiencing homelessness or foster care the tools that they need to be successful at the university. An on-campus house is reserved for students in the program.
“We started that program because over the years I was working with students who were coming into KSU and didn’t have the support or the resources in place because they were homeless [or] in foster care while in high school,” Stidum said. “We wanted to be intentional about supporting students’ transition from high school to college.”
“It’s hard enough for students who have [maybe] both of their parents and [maybe] sufficient financial resources to get from high school to college,” Stidum said. “So just imagine what it’s like when you are homeless and you’re living on your high school teacher’s couch, but you have the grades and the ability to go to college.”
“If students are unable to attend college at the university because of grades or their abilities, however, CARES links those students to other University System of Georgia colleges in order for students to still reach their dreams of attending college,” Stidum said.
According to Stidum, ASCEND follows a to-and-through model.
“We’ll support them to get to KSU and through KSU…then they go beyond and do great things,” Stidum said.
Stidum said that if students would like to work for or volunteer with KSU CARES, they can email the program.
For more information about both the ASCEND and CARE Services program, visit the KSU CARES website.