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Giving To 2018 Graduates

Graduation season has arrived and transition is in the air. For Sonora Area Foundation staff, board, supporters and donors, the graduation ceremonies punctuate the end of the scholarship selection and presentation process. We are very happy to report that it was another extremely successful scholarship season. The quality and content of the applications received were tremendous.

Our community will no doubt be pleased to hear that amazingly talented people are populating Tuolumne County schools and our graduates are well positioned for future academic success.  In 2017 a record number, dollars and quantity, were awarded from the scholarship funds held at Sonora Area Foundation. While final numbers are still being calculated, 2018 will easily surpass last year’s record. How is that happening? Generosity, partnerships, collaboration and a supportive community aware of how education changes lives. The volume and variety of available scholarships is impressive and opportunity exists for all. Prior to this year that statement would have read “almost all”. However, thanks to the new Promise Scholarship every graduating senior from a Tuolumne County high school is eligible for a first year at Columbia College free of tuition and fees. This tremendous program was created by Columbia College and supported by the Columbia College Foundation. As additional support for Tuolumne County students, the Front Porch / Get More Math Scholarship held at Sonora Area Foundation is offering a book scholarship for eligible students receiving the Promise Scholarship and a year two “full ride” covering second year tuition, fees and books for qualifying students.

“This is such great news for high school students in our community,” said Colette Such, Columbia College Foundation Board President. “We’re thrilled to have Front Porch / Get More Math make this impressive investment to support and motivate young students, and to build so significantly on our Columbia College Promise. Incentives like this will give motivated students a wonderful start to their college education.”

The Promise is innovative, forward thinking and potentially life changing. Several of our donors have provided financial support from their charitable giving funds and recently a check for $20,000 was presented to Columbia College Foundation personnel. Contributors included: Black Oak Casino Resort, Comcast, McMillen Jacobs, Sonora Sunrise Rotary and many others all matched by an anonymous gift of $10,000 from a fund held at Sonora Area Foundation.

However, the Promise Scholarship is not the only new opportunity for Tuolumne County students. Several new funds have been opened including those honoring long time Tuolumne County educators Charles (Chuck) Griffin, Rick Restivo and Dr. Peter Marinovich. Also awarded for the first time were the Captain John T. Berger Scholarship, HeathLitNow Healthcare Career Scholarship and the Kenneth H. Bisordi Scholarship. In addition several existing donors increased the number of awards from their funds at Sonora Area Foundation. All of which contributed to what will be a record year.

Such wonderful news to report and we at Sonora Area Foundation are honored for our part in assisting donors while recognizing and supporting our students. They have certainly earned their time in the spotlight. However, the numerous community supporters making the contributions and creating the funds utilized for awarding these scholarships are also to be commended. We are a better place because of you. Congratulations to all!

More details about local students from this weekend’s Mother Lode Views show are posted here.