By Briana Gomez
Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report
Photo, left: Rev Shane Harris held a press conference last week at the San Pasqual Academy
March 16, 2021 (Escondido) – In a win for foster youths, San Diego County Supervisors today voted unanimously to approve a motion asking state officials to grant a reprieve to the San Pasqual Academy, a boarding school for foster youths slated to close later this year.
The school has been a safe haven for foster youths, who found a home at the academy when they were unable to be placed with families as they aged out of the system.
Rev. Shane Harris, president of the People's Association of Justice Advocates, has led efforts to keep the school open. After today's vote, he stated, “I thank the Board of Supervisors for their unanimous support of this motion. Today we have taken a step toward reimagining what foster care can look like in San Diego County and beyond, starting with the nation's first residential educational campus for foster youth, San Pasqual Academy. The fight for a carve out to keep San Pasqual in existence in our nation begins now. Let's reimagine foster care together."
Harris is an alumni of San Pasqual Academy, which he credits with helping him develop leadership skills after years in foster care.