The Bobby Edd Penson Fund

Finanical assistance for youth in foster care, or aged out of foster care in Arizona, ages 18 years through the youth’s 21st birthday.

The AFFCF Penson Fund is designed to help young men and women who have aged out of foster care overcome emergency expenses that derail their education. These funds are not intended to be used for long-term, ongoing expenses.

Awards are limited to two requests per quarter.

  • Quarter 1: January – March
  • Quarter 2: April – June
  • Quarter 3: July – September
  • Quarter 4: October – December

One award in each category will be made one time in a 12-month period. In the event of an emergency, AFFCF can consider making awards outside of these guidelines.

eligibility requirements

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

  • In foster care or aged out of foster care in Arizona, ages 18 years up until the youth’s 21st birthday
  • Enrolled at university/college, community college or a vocational program

Current employment is preferred when considering requests.

guidelines

Click here see the items that can be considered for funding by the Penson Fund.

FUNDING PROCESS

The AFFCF awards committee will review requests as they are submitted. 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. Typical turnaround time for a Penson Fund Award is 10 days. Emergency funds are available.

Required documentation includes:

  1. Documentation of enrollment in post-secondary college or accredited vocational training program.
  2. Proof of current employment (if applicable)
  3. Completion of the AFFCF budget planner. A new budget is required annually
  4. Documentation that the youth was a ward of the court at age 18.
  5. An explanation of how the youth will move forward once the provided award runs out.

How AFFCF Determines If a Youth Has Aged Out of Foster Care

Youth in the Keys to Success program have already been determined to be current or prior wards of the court and are automatically eligible.

For youth who signed a voluntary agreement, AFFCF will contact the youth’s caseworker.

For youth who did not sign a voluntary agreement, AFFCF will contact Dennis Hinz to confirm eligibility.

penson fund award guidelines

deposits
Funds for establishing an apartment, including security and utility deposits. One-time award of maximum up to $1,500.
Food
As needed. Up to $200 per month/one-time in a 12-month period. Paid with gift cards.
Auto Repairs
Tow costs and auto repairs up to $1,000/one time in a 12-month period. Paid by check payable to the vendor.
Rent
Up to $800 for one month/one-time in a 12-month period. Paid by check payable to the landlord.
Vocational Tuition/Fees
Maximum of $1,000 per semester. Applicants must complete the AFFCF Scholarship application.
Books
Up to $500 per semester. Paid by check to bookstore.
Utilities/Internet Service
Up to $250 for one month/one time in a 12-month period. Paid by check to the utility company.
School supplies/laptop
Supplies: As needed. Maximum of $500 per school year. Paid by check to vendor.

Laptop: One-time laptop fees of up to $1,000. Paid by check to vendor.

Gas
Up to $60 per month/one time in a 12-month period. Paid with gift cards.
Cell Phone Services
Maximum of $100 for one month-one time in a 12-month period. Paid by check payable to the cell phone provider.
Public Transportation
Up to $75 month/one time in a 12-month period. Paid to the vendor.
Tutoring
Up to $500 for 3 months/one time in a 12-month period. Paid by check payable to tutor or tutoring services.

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.