The Bobby Edd Penson Fund

Finanical assistance for youth in foster care, or aged out of foster care in Arizona, ages 18 – 21.

The Penson Fund provides financial assistance to youth who have aged out of foster care, to cover everyday expenses – both expected and unexpected – while attending school.

eligibility requirements

To receive assistance through the Penson Fund, youth must be:

  • Aged out of foster care
  • Ages 18 – 21 years
  • Enrolled at university/college, community college or a vocational program

How it works

Like AFFCF’s general awards, you must submit an application along with the required documentation (see below). Once an application is submitted, the AFFCF awards committee will review it. All payments are made payable to the vendor or reimbursed for purchases made AFTER the request has been approved. No funds are available for purchases that have been made before an application is submitted and approved. Required documentation includes the following:

  1. Documenation of enrollment in post-secondary college or accredited vocational training program or most current grades report. (Determines eligibility only. Awards are not based on grades.)
  2. Completion of the AFFCF budget planner. A new budget is required annually.
  3. Documentation that the youth was a ward of the court at age 18. For youth who have signed a voluntary agreement, the youth’s caseworker will be contacted.

penson fund award guidelines

deposits
AFFCF can consider funding for establishing an apartment, including security and utility deposits at a maximum of $1,500. May be awarded one time per youth.
Cell Phone Services
The Penson Fund can pay for up to three (3) months of cell phone service in one (1) year. The maximum amount is $300. Funds are paid by check payable to the cell phone provider.
School supplies
The Penson Fund covers the costs of supplies as needed for classes at a maximum of $500 per school year. Supplies are paid by check payable to the vendor.
Public Transportation
The maximum covered by the Penson Fund is $75 per month. Fees are paid by check to the vendor.
Rent
The Penson Fund can cover up to three (3) months of rent in one (1) year at a maximum of $2,500. Rent is paid by check payable to the landlord.
Food
The Penson Fund covers grocery expenses as needed, up to $200 per month. Paid with gift cards to store of youth’s choice.
Laptop
The Penson Fund allows for one-time laptop fees of up to $1,000. Paid by check to the vendor.
Auto Repairs
The Penson Fund can pay for auto repairs and/or towing costs up to $1,000 annually. Paid by check payable to the vendor.
Utilities/Internet Service
The Penson Fund can pay up to three (3) months of utilities and/or Internet service in one (1) year at a maximum of $1,000. Funds are paid by check payable to the utility company.
Vocational Tuition/Fees
The Penson Fund can pay for tuition/fees for vocational education at a maximum of $1,000 per semester. Applicants must complete the AFFCF Scholarship application.
Books
The Penson Fund pays for books, up to $1,000 per semester. Costs are paid by check payable to the bookstore.
Gas
The maximum amount covered by the Penson Fund is up to $60 per month for six (6) months. Paid with gift cards.

about the pensons

Bob and Mary Ann Penson learned about AFFCF at a fundraising breakfast back in 2009. Over time, their interest in helping children in foster care, particularly those aging out of care, grew stronger. The idea for the Bobby Edd Penson Award Fund was born of Bob and Mary Ann’s desire to help those youth who aged out of foster care and who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program.

When Bob and Mary Ann met, he worked for Lockheed as an airplane mechanic. They married and moved to California, where Bob joined the sheet metal union as a journeyman and worked for 10 years. The couple bought an awning shop in Lakeport, CA and eventually started building houses. In the last 15 years of his career, Bob was a contractor, buying land, building houses and selling them. Mary Ann was a teacher for many years.

Bob Penson passed away on April 14, 2016.

The Bobby Edd Penson Award Fund was created to help young men and women aging out of foster care find their successful future. The Pensons’ wish is that youth will have the training and support they need to excel in their chosen vocation – CNAs, barbers, nursery school teachers, hair stylists and more.

Through the Penson Fund, AFFCF can assist even more youth aging out of foster care to create better futures for themselves. We are grateful to Bob and Mary Ann for their dedication to serving youth in foster care and are proud to share their legacy through this extraordinary gift.