Avanti Alias ’16 (Santa Barbara, BA) was the keynote speaker at “Reaching for the Stars” on April 26, 2018, a fundraising event sponsored by Santa Barbara-based Youth and Family Services (YFS). Avanti is a former foster youth who spent several years in YFS programs, living at Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter and then participating in the My Home program. She talked about her struggles in coming from a family torn apart by domestic violence and then being placed in the foster care system, and praised the My Home program staff for “unparalleled love and supportive compassion,” which she says was crucial to her success.
LeVan D. Hawkins ’11 (Antioch Los Angeles, MFA) has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for his essay, “Both Sissies,” which was published in the Chicago Quarterly Review in 2021. “Both Sissies” is selected for reprint in Pushcart Prize XLV11: Best of Small Presses (2023 edition) November 2022.