ContactPhone/Google Voice: 619-388-5895
Students are encouraged to leave a voicemail. We will return your call or email within 1-2 business days.
Program Email: MesaFosterYouth@sdccd.edu
Room: Room K-101
M-Th: 8:00am - 6:00pm
FAST/NextUp Student Services Technician:
Blanca "Melissa" Zavala
Welcome to the FAST Center
The Fostering Academic Success & Transitions Center (FAST Center) is a home for both NextUp and FAST Scholars. It is a place where foster youth are able to gather with other students who were also in care. Here, they can receive supportive services and have access to computers and specific resources to meet their needs. With the support of the center, San Diego Mesa College is able to better support foster youth in accomplishing their educational goals at the Fast center!
- Academic, Personal and Career Counseling
- Priority Registration
- Book Service
- Assistance with applying to FAFSA, CHAFEE grant, and scholarships
- Specialized workshops
- Life Skills Seminars
- And much more!
We are the first community college in San Diego to provide adequate space for foster youth! In August 2019 we had the grand opening of our center.
Fast and Nextup Graduating Students
"My major is Sociology with a minor in Counseling and Social Change. I transferred to San Diego State University in fall 2018. In ten years, I hope to see myself having my bachelor’s degree as well as my masters to be working as a counselor. I want to help other foster youth; more specifically, to guide them in the direction of higher education. My experience with NEXTUp was amazing, they were a huge support system, they made me feel safe and comfortable, and they really showed that they cared and want the best for me". - Esmeralda, NextUp Alumni
"I am a Human Biology major at San Diego Mesa College. In 10 years I see myself happy, healthy and pursing a graduate or doctorate degree. I credit my recent academic success to the supportive staff and services I’ve received from NextUp. I have a sense of relief knowing that resources for foster youth are readily available through NextUp services." Annemarie, NextUp Scholar
“A piece of advice that I would recommend to other foster youth students would be to never give up no matter what. There might be times where the road gets bumpy and it seems like all of your work is not worth it, but as time goes on you will see the beauty in the struggle and notice how far you have come as both a student and a person.“ - Esmeralda, NextUp Alumni
“I feel like I have a professional support system, it really is the best program ever.” - Anonymous Student
"One thing in this world I am most proud of is my ability to continue to overcome obstacles I am faced with. This program has shaped me and helped me become a better person overall." - Esmeralda, NextUp Alumni