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South Coast Man Goes From Foster Care System To College Degree

(Photo courtesy Christopher Clark)
Christopher Clark didn't let a troubled upbringing in the foster care system stop him from graduating from college.

The young graduate emancipated himself as high school senior, and overcome the odds to get his college degree.

Christopher Clark is a proud college graduate, who just received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

But while he’s modest, how he did it is remarkable. He spent a decade in Ventura County’s foster care system, even living on his own as a high school senior.

Clark says he wasn’t even a teen when he and his mother were hit by crisis. They were homeless, and his mother was in trouble with the law.

That’s when Clark was placed in Ventura County’s foster care system.

It was painful at times. At one point, he had been at a camp, and he returned to his foster home only to find he was being sent back to a group home. But, while may kids have a hard time staying focused on school in the foster care system, Clark thrived.

While in elementary school, he even decided he wanted to go to an acclaimed magnet school in Ventura. He was able to get into Foothill Technology High School.

While in high school, Clark stepped out of the foster care system, even though it meant he had to get a job to help survive. A special state fund helped him get an apartment, and he worked while attending school to pay bills.

But, not only did he graduate from Foothill, he went straight to college.

He decided to go to Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree. He says he wants to do something to help kids who went through what he faced.

Clark is taking a break this summer, but, he plans to return to college, and get the rest of the education he needs to help kids in the foster care system.