Posted on June 15, 2020 by Al Greater-Placer Nugget
Written By Carol Barry
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” W.B. Yeats
Throughout COVID-19 stay-at-home months, Assistance League® of Greater Placer (ALGP) Scholarship Committee members have been busier than ever STAYING CONNECTED with their scholarship recipients by email, text, and Zoom. Many students are struggling with online classes that have replaced actual in-class learning. They need SUPPORT now more than ever. Nearly all have lost their part-time jobs and are truly trying just to survive month to month. There is no fallback position for most of them, which is why this program is vital.
The Assistance League scholarship program is the only one of its kind in Placer County to provide ongoing financial aid and mentoring to at-risk youth who are pursuing post high school training/education. Although many of these teens had been unsuccessful at traditional high schools, all have thrived in non-traditional high schools where they worked hard to turn their lives around. Assistance League scholarships provide the financial and personal boost they need to continue their journey.
We were honored to award scholarships to 18 high school graduates in the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, we renewed scholarships for 5 more students who were attending college or vocational school and already in our program. One of those students, Laura, graduated with honors from Sierra College and transferred to a full-time nursing program in Arizona. In expressing her appreciation, she said: “You guys are amazing. I need all the help I can get! I knew you would be so proud, and I was definitely excited to let you know!”
Scholarship Committee volunteers realize that MENTORSHIP is a vital component for helping our students achieve success. Most recipients are the first generation to attend college, so they lack the parental experience and know-how that would otherwise make their transition to higher education easier. As mentors, we provide the friendship, encouragement and support that can make the difference in a young person’s life. One young man shared that our continuing contact with him is “really encouraging and helps me stay positive.”
During May, 2020, members of the Scholarship Committee collected applications, conducted Zoom interviews, and learned about each student’s goals and how they plan to achieve their goals. Assistance League of Greater Placer is happy to announce that 6 Placer County high school graduates were awarded scholarships for the Fall 2020 semester. They graduated from:
Adelante High School in Roseville
Independence High School in Roseville
Koinonia Family Services in Loomis
Maidu High Independent Study in Auburn
Rocklin Independent Charter Academy (RICA)
Victory High School in Rocklin
Dorion, a student from Koinonia Family Services, upon receiving her scholarship award, wrote, “I just want to thank you guys so much for believing in me. Thanks so much for this opportunity and the chance you have given me. All I ever needed was for someone to support me like you guys have.”
Assistance League of Greater Placer is honored to work in concert with school leaders to support these dedicated students. One counselor at Adelante High School expressed gratitude in these words: “When it comes to scholarships, many times our students are forgotten or excluded, so I appreciate that your scholarships are targeted for students at continuation or alternative settings. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your organization.”
The principal who is the administrator for both Victory High School and RICA wrote: “I am overwhelmed by your members’ kindness and generosity.”
Data shows overwhelmingly that attending or graduating from a California Community College can nearly double a student’s chance of finding a job and nearly double their earning potential. It thrills us to know that we can help young Placer County students become more happy, stable and productive citizens! Rebecca, one of our students at Chico State, who has faced challenging hardships because of COVID-19, touched our hearts with her gratitude: “All of your endless support for me is making me cry tears of happiness. Thank you all for being there for me through thick and thin. I love you all . . .”
5 thoughts on “TURNING LIVES AROUND”
Kudos to our wonderful, caring, Scholarship Committee!
Yes! There’s so much more I could have shared about our wonderful Scholarship Committee and its dedicated volunteers. Touched my heart!
What a great read this morning. What an impact our Scholarship Committee makes on these young lives!!
Thank you, Carol, it is clear that you have the heart for the Scholarship Committee. And thank you to the chair and vice-chair, Gayle Gullans and Katie Smith, for doing an excellent job of tracking the students.
So proud to be part of an organization that makes a difference in the lives of these young adults!