John Hunt Jr., a recent graduate of California State University, Fresno, returned to campus this fall to help students who have experienced homelessness and foster care move into their dorms.

Hunt had been in foster care and remembers being alone on college move-in day because both of his parents were in prison at the time. Hunt, who is now pursuing a master’s degree, wanted others to have a different experience. His story was featured in a recent Kleenex ad.

“Moving into the dorms and unpacking all my stuff alone and seeing other people with their families ― it was tough for me because I would’ve loved to have my family there,” Hunt said. “So that day, I vowed that I would help prevent people from having to move into the dorms alone.”

Hunt works for Renaissance Scholars, a support program for students formerly in foster care. On move-in day, the students received supplies including blankets, toiletries, and notebooks.

The dorm is “the first home some of them have had,” Hunt said.

Through Renaissance Scholars, Hunt is positively impacting the lives of students.

“To be able to say, ‘I’m going home,’ is a big deal,” one student said.

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.