Take a bunch of teenagers with no families, and a bunch of grandparent-age people with extra energy and love. Add sunshine and a lovely campus. Blend.
That is the successful recipe of San Pasqual Academy in southern California. A public-private partnership in operation since 2001, which bills itself as “the first residential foster campus for foster youth in the nation,” it has served more than 700 young people from ages 12-18.
The youngsters live in home-like settings with house parents. And senior citizens also live in their own homes on the campus. In exchange for paying a reduced rent, they act as mentors. The kids go to school at the facility, and
come home for vacations when they are in college. The seniors act as surrogate grandparents. They tutor, hang out, garden, cook with the kids; whatever grandparents normally do.
When a massive wildfire destroyed 17 buildings in 2007, they were all rebuilt. When you have something good, you want to keep it going.