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Newport Beach couple make foster youth their focus

June 17, 2009

Zimmer and his wife, a former social worker who aided critically and terminally ill patients, have pledged to provide financial support to the program for a minimum of three years.

“Cal State Fullerton has been wonderful to me,” he said. “The university gave me a tremendous career opportunity. I feel blessed, and we are fortunate enough to be able to make this financial contribution to the program.”

The Zimmers, married 28 years, wanted to donate to the program for one simple reason: to make the transition from college to life on their own a little easier for the graduating scholars.

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“Our thought was that, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, they have made it through college and need — and deserve — some help. To us, they are heroes.”

During his 27-year career at the university, Zimmer said what he enjoyed most about teaching was working directly with students to help them achieve their academic goals.

Now, Zimmer is working with the Guardian Scholars by presenting workshops on such topics as career planning, resume writing and job interviewing. He also meets with the scholars individually to assist them with their academic and career goals.

For Zimmer, he has come full circle in helping first younger, now older former foster youth. “It’s rewarding to see these kids get through the system and become wonderful adults.”

Moreover, being a foster parent has been a humbling experience, he added.

“It’s made our family stronger and better. We feel lucky to have these children in our home; it’s the best thing our family ever did.”

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