at the University of California, Santa Cruz, seeks ways and means to help foster youth, homeless and runaway youth, orphans, and wards of the court to dream bold dreams for their lives, to see higher education as a desirable and available path toward achieving those dreams, and to promote a successful educational experience.

Smith Collegiate Fellows are UCSC students who belong to a community of caring friends and mentors committed to their personal and academic success. On graduation, Collegiate Fellows continue to belong to a friendly network to provide contacts and encouragement as they head to graduate school or careers.

Senior Fellows are members of the Smith community, including mentors, donors, and Smith alumni who do the work of the Society. Led by the Board of Directors made up of Smith graduates as well as current and retired faculty and staff, the Society offers financial aid, mentoring, help navigating the University’s academic and administrative systems, priority enrollment in classes, academic and emotional support, priority year-round housing, social activities, and the chance to reach out to youth in the foster care system and local homeless shelters.

Based in Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) in Kresge College, the Smith Renaissance Society created California’s first university-based comprehensive path to college admission for foster youths and other independent students. Most Collegiate Fellows graduate, and many go on to excel in professional careers and graduate programs.