Introducing out newest recipients
We are happy to introduce to you Jackeline Hernandez and Adriana Chavez. We were referred to these girls from high school counselor, Edna Martinez. Edna was previously the counselor at Banning High School, and had referred Jenny Gomez and Jocelyn Cuevas to us. Last year, she was transferred to Narbonne High School and gave us strong recommendations for Jackeline and Adriana.
Jackeline—A Cinderella Story
A little background on Jackeline…she has a bit of a Cinderella story. Her mother died of breast cancer when she was a young girl in Guatemala (she also has two younger sisters). The father came to the U.S. to work and left the girls with in-laws on his side of the family. The girls were mistreated by the relatives, made to work, not fed well etc., as they didn’t approve of their father’s marriage to their mother.
Eventually, he was able to bring the girls to this country. They were living with an aunt who wanted them to leave. At this point we put out a notice about Jackeline’s need for basic items as they only had their clothes and beds. They had a deposit on an apartment and very recently were able to move into their own apartment –furnished in large part by our rummage sale (items paid for by the scholarship fund), and other basic donations, dishes, sheets etc. by parishioners others who became aware of her story.
Jackeline’s father is 80 and not in good health–she is essentially the “mother” in this family situation. She works 7 days a week, at two jobs, and goes to El Camino 4 days a week. Her tuition was waived at El Camino and her Federal Pell grant has not arrived as yet. Our fund was able to help her with a laptop and printer.
Jackeline would like to be a nurse, inspired by the struggle her mother went through with breast cancer.
Adriana lost her father several years ago, which left her mother with 3 girls to raise (Adriana being the oldest)–the father was the only one employed.
Adriana is stellar student, besides being salutatorian of her class, she took 8 AP classes and passed 7– so she almost has a year of college, and tested out of a lot of the required GE classes.
She was accepted everywhere she applied–Berkeley, UCLA etc. but chose Cal State LB (before we met her) as it was less expensive and closer to home. She takes two buses, 5 days a week to get back and forth to school–about 4 hours a day. She says she takes advantage of the time by doing her reading.
The family lives a very simple life, they walk everywhere, or take the bus. She tells me that the family views walking most everywhere as a benefit since they are getting their exercise. Always positive–what a model girl she is.
We were able to get her a lap top, cell phone (so she has it for emergencies), and a mobile hot spot for internet so she can do homework in the apartment.
She is not sure what she will major in at this point but thinks that at some point she would like to be a teacher—to give back as she felt her teachers have inspired her so much.
We were happy to have Adriana and her mother and two younger sisters, join us on Sunday, September 14 for Get Connected Sunday. At that time, Adriana was able to express her gratitude for the tools we have given her to succeed in school.
Other SFOSF news
We have another recipient almost ready to graduate from college.
who we met through Mama Hill, is scheduled to graduate in December from Cal State Northridge. That will make 4 students we have assisted and mentored through 4 plus years of college, Lorena and Angelina Gonzalez and Chris Califano.
Meanwhile, Jenny Gomez has started her sophomore year at Cal State Northridge and is still living with the Ramirez family near campus 4 days a week (to avoid a 6 hour a day bus commute from Wilmington). We are able to pay the Ramirez family rent and they provide Jenny with breakfast and dinner. We also help Jenny with bus pass, lunch, cell phone and book expenses.
Richard Tucker and Jocelyn Cuevas are doing well as UCLA will begin classes in late September.
Richard is a junior and amazes us with his position as CSI Student Coordinator, UCLA New Student & Transition Programs.
Jocelyn, a sophomore, applied for and won a Gilman scholarship to attend a summer session in Osaka, Japan.
Katherine Cotzajay will be a sophomore at Cal State Bakersfield did very well in her freshman year. We purchased a laptop for her, which was her main need.
Elishebah Tate-Pulliam, our other Cal State Long Beach student, has had continuing severe health problems and we hope will be able to attend school this fall as she had to withdraw last spring with a medical leave.
We assist these students with various help as needed.
Over the following months, look forward to updates in our monthly newsletters from our students as they tell their own story. The scholarship committee is very proud of all of them and thankful for the parish support of our major fundraiser, Designs for Dining, and the Ralph’s & VONS grocery contributions programs.