Who We Serve

Two students with a mentorWe help students who are, or were, foster, homeless, and runaway youth, or orphans without family support, to have bold dreams and to see higher education as a path toward achieving those dreams. Once a student becomes a member of the Smith Renaissance Society, they become a "Collegiate Fellow".  The Smith Renaissance Society helps clear the way for a robust and successful college experience for those students who enroll at UC Santa Cruz.
  • We offer a scholarship to all eligible students and the Financial Aid Office and Scholarship Office does not turn anyone down.
  • UC Santa Cruz staff helps enrolled Collegiate Fellows navigate the system, get academic, financial and housing help, and, together with our volunteer mentors, serves as advocates for students who may have no other dependable adults in their lives.
  • We provide Collegiate Fellows with volunteer mentors – current and retired professors, staff, and local alumni -- for academic, social, or emotional support.
  • We provide guidance and stipends to Collegiate Fellows who plan recreational and outreach events aimed at fostering community and encouraging pre-college youths to attend college.
  • We connect students with professionals beyond the University who help them realize their educational and career goals. We have helped to place a number of our students in internships and jobs that offer significant career experience.
  • We coordinate with the UCSC Admissions Office to provide pre-college youths with someone to guide them through the college application process and provide advocacy for eligible youths who wish to attend UC Santa Cruz.
  • We offer social gatherings and practical workshops for Collegiate Fellows throughout the year.