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Hemlock Scholars

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The Hemlock Scholars program (formerly known as Fostering Connections) was developed in 2018 to support the needs of current and former foster youth, students who are experiencing homelessness and those who come from non-traditional living environments but were not technically placed in care.  Similar to the Hemlock tree, we believe all of our students are strong and resilient and are critical to the Stanford ecosystem. The Hemlock Scholars Program (HSP)  is here to nurture you as you continue to flourish, build community and gain the skills needed to thrive at Stanford and beyond.

If you're interested in being apart of the Hemlock Scholars Program, fill out our application so we can get to know you! 

Application for 2021-2022: click here! 

Green circle with words & images inside. Top reads "HEMLOCK SCHOLARS". Three black trees center. Bottom reads "EST. 2018". Dark green background.

Mission Statement:

Hemlock Scholars aims to create a community of support for students that have faced experiences in the foster care system, as well as other non-traditional family backgrounds. We hope to improve the lives of students while they are at Stanford and aid in the development of qualities that they will carry with them after Stanford. We believe that all students coming from adverse backgrounds should be able to pursue their academic interests without fear of lacking the academic, social, or financial support that comes with more traditional families and home backgrounds.

Who? A current or former foster youth is someone who is currently in foster care or someone who has since been emancipated from the foster care system. Students experiencing homelessness are individuals that lack a fixed, regular, and adequate housing situation. Students from non-traditional living environments include students that do not identify with traditional narratives of family and/or home, whether they're living with relatives other than their parents or with close friends.

What we do:

  • Bi-weekly check-ins
  • Monthly Community Building Events
    • Game nights
    • Paint Night
    • Cooking Session
  • Care packages for students during FLI-SO and finals weeks
  • Hold space for students with shared experiences to be able to breakdown community issues, share life experiences, and foster community and support for one another 
  • Connection to campus resources
  • Aid students in finding scholarships 
  • Mentorship (students are paired with mentors)
  • Address the needs of the community, such as:
    • understanding Cardinal Care
    • cheap, homemade meals for FLI students
    • dealing with Zoom fatigue and online classes 
    • discussions on imposter syndrome while attending an elite university 
  • Develop academic and career-building skills through workshops with BEAM & FLI Office
    • leadership, time management, teamwork, career planning, and many more

Staying Connected


Past Events: 

April 9th: Game Night! 

New quarter, new classes, new classmates, and a new coordinator for Hemlock Scholars! Join us for a laid-back game night, get to know one another, and maybe make some new friends! 

April 15th: FLIP Your Perspective (FYP) Week x FLIP: Art Therapy w/ Bob Ross? 

Discussing the Importance of Self-Care with a Virtual Paint Night! 

This year has been very different and very difficult for many students due to the pandemic, remote classes, and just a lack of social contact from other students. This impact has been especially harmful to FLI students and students coming from non-traditional backgrounds. We would like to hold a space for students to discuss the reality of self-care and give students the opportunity to relax and paint our feelings. We will be watching the Bob Ross “Sunset Aglow” tutorial & attempting to create our own inspired painting! 

April 23rd: Cardinal Care Info Session with Vaden!

Confused on what Cardinal Care offers you while on campus? What about during a LOA? Is there a copay for 20-21? Hemlock Scholars will be teaming up with Johanna Infantine from the Vaden Health Center to gather your questions and provide straightforward answers! 


May 7th: Hemlock Scholars Sharing Circle
In honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month, we would like to hold a sharing circle to discuss the roles students’ many identities have shaped them into who they are today as well as understand how the Hemlock Scholars program can support the needs of students that share these identities. 

May 20th: Mind Over Money X FLIP X FLI Office: FLI-nancial Wellness 

Attend this financial wellness workshop hosted by Angela Amarillas, the Mind Over Money Associate Director, as well as the First-gen, Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) and the First-gen, Low-Income (FLI) Office! In this workshop, we will define what financial wellbeing means to you and explore specific financial capabilities that you can develop to help you achieve your financial aspirations.


  • Link to download presentation below:

FLI-nancial Wellness Presentation (2.63 MB)

If you would like to get in contact with any of the speakers/hosts of the event, here is their contact information: 

Angela Renae Amarillas, Mind Over Money:

Contact Hemlock Scholars:

Emily Rodriguez '24 (she/her)

Hemlock Scholars Coordinator



Adriena Brown (she/her)

Assistant Director, FLI Office