A BIT OF HISTORY
A decade ago, in 2012, the Education Committee, under the leadership of Dave Scott, began to develop the structure for the CAA Scholarship Program, and by January of 2013, seven elementary students were identified, enrolled, and received scholarship vouchers for uniforms, shoes and supplies. We thank Dave for his leadership, and to his wife, Doris, who helped immensely as an MEP teacher in those early scholarship program years. Special thanks also go to Johanna Fernandez G., licensed CR social worker, for her insight on program design.
Fast forward to May 2022, the CAA Scholarship Program is now celebrating the end of its first decade of service to San Ramon’s students and their education. A few highlights:
- This year, twenty-nine Colegio students, and one university scholarship program administrative intern participate in the program.
- By the end of this tenth year, CAA will have invested almost $100,000 to support the education of San Ramon area students, and to build additional reserve funds to shield against abrupt funding disruptions.
- Over this decade, eleven students have graduated high school while still in the scholarship program; others benefitted for one or more years of participation and then gained a government beca and left the CAA program; a few more students/families moved from the San Ramon area; and a handful just gave up on their education after graduating elementary school or failing in 7th/8th grade when the academic demands hit them too hard.
- All told, the CAA program has assisted about 50-55 students/families in these ten years. Not a big number in the scheme of poverty in San Ramon, but for the scholarship participants, being one of the fortunate students, is a really big deal!
WHERE CAN THE CAA EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM GO FROM HERE?
- Do we try to raise more funds to scale up the program to reach and support more students each year? More students will require more student social worker Intern support and more licensed social workers to supervise those Interns.
- Do we expand our focus to offer more support to university or trade/INA students after high school graduation?
- Do we specialize our student recruitment to encourage STEM subjects and careers in high school and beyond?
- Do we specialize recruitment on nursing or support university nursing students?
- Do we continue largely at our present size/scope and concentrate on the funding side of the program – building endowment funds to yield funds in perpetuity for the program? How can we sustain this legacy of service after the current committee members are gone—how to resource a succession plan for continuity, growth?
- How are we positioned to support the English Conversation Club, and the Spanish Conversation Group? These language programs are also integral parts of CAA’s educational support in San Ramon; they enjoy solid leadership with ECC run by Dustin Dresser and Ricardo Elizondo, and SCG run by one of our board members. The Committee provides support and financial control through our three sub-committee structure.
Although these questions and many more are under discussion in search of paths forward, we know that within CAA’s membership, current and future, there should be sufficient talent and commitment to education to sustain or expand these existing services, or to establish new ways to promote education. Until then, the Committee will do what we have done over the past 10-12 years: We will continue to help families through education, one student at a time!
Dedicated to the CAA Education Committee - Dave Scott (founder), Doris Guzman (Scott), Johanna Fernandez G., Dustin Dresser, Andrea Carter, Lynette Lewis, Marian Latham, Linda McAnally, Linda Dwyer, Fernanda Rojas R., Ricardo Elizondo G., Alisson Esquivel M., Laura Handler, Susan Knab, Keven Murphy (May 2022 roster).