Published : Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | 1:10 PM
College Access Plan (CAP), a Pasadena nonprofit that provides free programs in college preparedness and success, has had the honor of supporting thousands of students who attend Pasadena’s public schools as they reach for their college dreams since 2006. This year, CAP partnered with the All Ways Up Foundation and the California Masonic Foundation, whereby selected twelfth graders were invited to apply to scholarships provided by these organizations if they met the desired requirements. CAP is pleased to announce that 23 PUSD students representing all six district high schools will receive scholarships from these two organizations. These selected twelfth graders were of the 100 graduating students from the class of 2016 who regularly attended CAP’s programs also invited to participate in CAP’s I Heart College alumni program, which supports students through college graduation with personalized attention, care packages, alumni events, and more.
CAP Executive Director Mo Hyman notes, “These collaborations are enormously important to CAP and our students. We alone cannot provide our alumni with much-needed financial support, but we can help to ensure students can navigate the often confusing process of attending college, which shores up the monetary investment of these two fabulous partners.”
The All Ways Up Foundation will provide ten students with renewable scholarships totaling $10,000 over four years. Winners are required to attend a one- or five-day summit that helps them to transition to college. Lee Schube, All Ways Up Senior Program Director, says, “All Ways Up is pleased to support ten highly motivated CAP students who are about to embark on their college journeys. We have been supporting CAP for the past several years and congratulate them on the work they are doing to help low-income students get into and through college.”
Mary Mejia, who is graduating from Pasadena High School and will attend UCLA in the fall, says that “Winning this scholarship means so much. I still can’t believe that someone recognizes my efforts and hard work, and wants to provide me money to keep this drive going.” She adds, “It’s one of the first scholarships that I applied to. So actually receiving this scholarship gave me the hope and motivation to apply to more and more scholarships.” Mejia will participate in the I Heart College Program and notes that “being able to call up CAP if I ever stumble upon anything foreign to me or if I ever just need advice provides so much relief.” There is another aspect of this program that she is excited about: “those care packages are going to lift my spirits because who doesn’t like free stuff!”
The California Masonic Foundation has generously provided scholarships to thirteen CAP students who will attend California State Universities and community colleges. These students will receive renewable scholarships of at least $7,000 over four years. Douglas Ismail, Executive Vice President of the California Masonic Foundation, says that, “We are proud to make it possible for these deserving young men and women, all first generation college students, to succeed in college and pursue their dreams of a degree. Our fraternity believes that educated citizens are critical to our democracy and this scholarship helps advance this value.”
Masons scholarship winner Symphony Brown, who attends CIS Academy and will attend California State University Dominguez Hills, was thrilled to be selected for this scholarship, saying “When I received the call that I was awarded the scholarship I was so excited I started singing ‘Celebration’ By Kool and the Gang.” Brown is likewise enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in CAP’s I Heart College program, noting that “all through high school CAP has been such a supportive backbone when it comes to my higher education. Throughout college I’ll have the comfort of knowing that I’ll have mentors to ask questions and call on for help.”
Brown and Mejia agree that these awards will have a profound impact on their college finances. Mejia says, “I can worry less about taking out loans, which is a blessing” and Brown adds, “This scholarship will help me in college to keep from worrying about employment due to school expenses and focus on being a better full-time student.”
The All Ways Up Foundation’s All Ways A Scholar winners are: Angelika Bolivar, Mai-Lin Graves, Mary Mejia, Andrew Ochola, Yendrick Porras, Derek Taylor, Mariah Dimalaluan, Julia See, Kaitlyn Walker-Tillett, and Elissa Wartoukian.
Winners of the California Masons Scholarship are: David Vega, José Muñoz, Daniel Lopez, Estefani Perez, Damaris Pacheco, Symphony Brown, Joselyne Hernandez, Adriana Arellano, Adriana Moreno, Gabriela Monzano, Dennis Gonsales, Jozlyn Hobdy, and Esperanza Preciado.
College Access Plan is an independent 501c3 nonprofit that prepares underserved students to succeed in college. Through partnerships with PUSD, Pasadena LEARNs, and other local agencies, CAP provides no-cost college readiness advisement and topic-specific workshops on site at PUSD high schools and middle schools and to PUSD graduates that attend college. In 2015-2016, CAP’s served 1,300 students who aspire to Dream Bigger about their futures. http://www.collegeaccessplan.org/