June 16, 2000

Local Scholarship Foundation Celebrates 36th Year by Awarding 109 Scholarships

"My high school grades were average, my income was minimal, my hopes of college millions of miles away, and the presence of my two-year old daughter led me to think only of surviving until tomorrow. Then someone told me about your Foundation and your awards. Receiving that scholarship gave my world new perspective and my future, a new direction. Thank you for giving me hope.".... excerpt from thank you letter of past scholarship award recipient.

Thirty-six years ago, the vision of one woman, Ruth Kern and $25 from her own pocket, brought about the founding of the San Diego County Citizens' Scholarship Foundation (SDCCSF). Many bake sales, lots of arm twisting, donation acceptances, style shows, culinary tasting, and other fund raising parties increased that financial base. Today, the community-based, all-volunteer Foundation is composed of individuals who represent a diverse economic and multi-ethnic range, and who proudly promote awards to financially needy students who are required only to demonstrate both the financial need and a fervent desire to attend a San Diego County institute of high education. Grade point averages are not a consideration. Ms. Kern continues to serve the organization as Executive Director.

For the 2000-01 school year, The San Diego County Citizens' Scholarship Foundation will grant Scholarship Awards to 109 inner-city, rural, and suburban students to encourage them to continue their education. More than 60% of the young people assisted by the Foundation in the past thirty 36 years are first generation Americans who seek a better future than that of their parents. One past recipient currently serves as a Foundation Board member.

All too frequently, young people with the challenge of low grades, low test scores, low socio-economic background, or those having to support parents or children, are discouraged by the system from considering higher education. The SDCCSF serves as an advocate for these young people and seeks to assist them. If given encouragement to attend a school of higher education, Board members believe, and the Foundation's results show, disadvantaged young people have a higher probability of graduating from college, thus ultimately empowering them with improved potential for participatory citizenship. The San Diego County Citizens' Scholarship Foundation has granted, during these past thirty plus years, thousands of Scholarship Awards.

Foundation money comes primarily from donations and interest on a principal that the Foundation Board is committed only to increase, never to reduce. The Foundation and all of its volunteer members believe that no funds should be expended for administrative or other costs. In thirty-six years, the only authorized expenses besides scholarships, have been minimal CPA costs. Board members even pay their own postage, and laughingly, but truthfully, say, "you have to pay to be a member of the Board."

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