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Application Process

The 2019-20 Local Connections application is now live! Apply today to participate as an out-of-state student or local sponsor!

Once you apply, we will begin the process of matching students with sponsors. Once matched, both parties will receive information about getting in touch with each other as well as other important program information. Please see the timeline below for key program dates and deadlines.

Have more questions? Contact us today!

Students - Apply Now   

2019-20 Timeline

Key dates and deadlines for students and local sponsors.


Application Opens

Apply to participate in Local Connections for the 2019-20 academic year.


Student Group Socials

Connect with fellow out-of-state students through planned socials throughout the year.


Recruitment/interest list signups

Testimonials and Advice

Student Testimonials

As any freshman who is beyond the threshold of a days drive home will tell you, the first quarter of freshman year can be a phenomenal time of growth and self-actualization that is tinged with loneliness and home-sickness. My first Thanksgiving I was unable to go home and was forced to stay on a desolate campus during what traditionally been my favorite holiday of the year. Thankfully, my wonderful sponsors invited me into their family for that holiday, and they have continued to make me a part of their life over the past few years. The value of having a family who is local and there for you is impossible to overestimate. 

Ben Christensen, Student Participant

Local Connections was a wonderful experience that provided me with an adult contact within the community. Initially, it gave me reassurance to know that there was someone watching out for me in my new city. But that simple "contact" has evolved into an invaluable friendship which I will cherish for years to come.

Stephanie Muir, Student Participant

Being a part of Local Connections has been one of my favorite experiences in college. My sponsors and I have a lot of fun together by going out to eat, attending Cal Poly sports games, and much more. It is so nice to have a family close by to support me. They have given me rides to the airport and even invited me over for Thanksgiving since I could not go home. My sponsors have truly become a second family to me.

Ashley Lekkerekerk, Student Participant

Sponsor Testimonials and Advice

A tremendous opportunity for out-of-state students to experience the broader community and for locals to share their knowledge and love of SLO County.

Cindy Marie Absey, Sponsor Participant

Awesome program. So great to connect with young minds and support them while they find their way in the world.

Christopher Barnickel, Student Participant

We have enjoyed our growing relationships with our students and have loved getting to know every one of them!

Julia and Scott Starkey, Sponsor Participants and Local Connections Founders

Most freshmen do not have a car, so just be there for them when and if they need a ride, or have an errand to do. From time to time, just pause and evaluate the relationship to see how it is going, if it needs to be changed. Call your student occasionally to see how he is doing or if needs anything. There are no guidelines on how to develop the relationship, so you have to create it yourselves.

Harry and Melanie, Sponsor Participants

Be available and responsive, offer various activity options, be a good listener (ask questions without prying), and be yourself. Introduce the student to your family and/or friends and colleagues to enhance the community’ experience.

Cindy Marie, Sponsor Participant

Let your student know that you are there whenever they need you... reach out to the student when you haven't heard from him/her in a while... give offers of airport pick-up or drop off around holiday breaks.

Garret, Sponsor Participant

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