St Francis Scholarship Outreach Fund

By Cheryl Gutierrez, March 2023,

For those who may not be familiar with this Outreach Program at St. Francis, the fund was started in 1998 by Mrs. Joni McIntyre, with the hopes of helping one student complete a college degree. Fast forward to 2023, our fund has helped more than 50 students, some of which we have seen through 4 years of college earning their chosen degrees. Our first two recipients were the daughters of our former Sexton. In subsequent years we have found our students through high school counselors at various local schools. Our total outlay of funds to deserving students is approaching $340,000. Our founder, Joni, is now almost 101 ½ and is still interested in our current activities and grateful that the fund has continued their work.

In 2022, the St. Francis Outreach Scholarship Fund, helped a total of 11 students: Christopher, Edlyn, Eghosa, Estrella, Kelsey, Madelyn, Mohammed, Nicolette, Pablo, Shania and Tamilore. We have been able to disburse over $18,000 to these students in 2022 by helping them with new laptops, books and other school supplies. The students are attending universities in California: UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Stanford. We continue to support some of these students in 2023.

The Fund is overseen by a committee of 6 parishioners: Cheryl Gutierrez, Robin Pano, Sue Egan, Janet Laudeman, Fabrizio Pela, and Gayle Taylor. We always welcome new members. You might not realize that something in YOUR background may help a student navigating their college degree, courses, finding internships etc.

For over 20 years our committee hosted a “Designs for Dining” event at St. Francis and had the last large event March 6, 2020, just before the Pandemic shutdown. The committee had one offsite fundraiser in April 2022 and also receives funds from Ralph’s/Food 4 Less Community Rewards. If you shop at these stores please see below, or contact Cheryl Gutierrez (310) 791-7038. A portion of your shopping $$ is sent to our fund.

Thanks for all your support. We couldn’t have accomplished this without you!

We supports students both financially and through one-on-one mentoring, to achieve their dream of a college education:

  • What courses and tests to take
  • Filling in application forms
  • Applying for financial aid
  • Financial awards
  • Encouragement through difficult times
  • Continued support to find financial aid
  • Being a listening ear, and provision of independent advice

Find out more – contact Cheryl Gutierrez (310) 791-7038.

Joyful faces when scholarship students visit St. Francis!

St Francis Outreach Scholarship Fund 2022

Despite the continuing impact of the COVID pandemic, the SFOSF continued to provide financial, technical, and scholastic support to needy local students.

Thank you to all of the SFOSF members (Cheryl Gutierrez, Robin Pano, Janet Laudeman, and Gayle Taylor)… for their continuing efforts in supporting and mentoring these students.

These are just a few of the students we have supported:

Christopher Emodi
Christopher will be majoring in Biology, at Stanford University. He expressed a desire for a laptop to use during his studies; we provided him with a 13” Apple MacBook Pro, including all of the support equipment required (USB-C adapter, backup hard drive, and protective case) for it’s use. Christopher is pictured with his mother.

Scholarship Recipient Christopher Emodi

Eghosa Isibor
Eghosa is majoring in Civil Engineering, at UC Merced. She expressed a need for a laptop, and selected a Hewlett Packard 15.6” PC; also with all of the necessary accessories (USB-C adapter, backup hard drive, and protective case). Eghosa was also the lucky recipient of the bicycle donated by Francis Yee. Eghosa is pictured (left) with her brother, and parents.

Scholarship Student - Eghosa Isibor

Megan Zamora
Megan is majoring in Computer Science, at CSU Dominguez Hills. She selected a Hewlett Packard 15.6” PC laptop to help her in her studies. Megan also received a range of accessories for her new laptop, so that she could attach other computer peripherals, and back up her machine to minimize the risk of any data loss. She is shown here, receiving the laptop with her mother.

Scholarship Student - Megan Zamora

Shania Miles
Shania is majoring in Psychology, at UC Santa Cruz. In support of her University studies, she chose a 13” Apple MacBook Pro. As with the other students, the SFOSF supplied Shania with a range of accessories for her new MacBook… including a USB-C adapter, backup hard drive, and a protective case. Shania also was the happy recipient of the bicycle donated by Daniel Crane.

scholarship student - Shania Miles

Gretel Castillo
Gretel will be attending Cal State University Dominguez Hills this year. To support her in her studies, Gretel requested a 13” MacBook Pro; and the necessary accessories for peripheral connectivity, laptop backup, and protection of the computer.

Tamilor Odunlami
Unlike most of this year’s students, Tamilor already had a laptop. Therefore, in support of her studies at UC Irvine, the SFOSF provided Tamilor with a $2000 scholarship of financial support.

Designs for Dining

Designs for Dining

Designs for Dining is the annual fundraiser for the St. Francis Scholarship Outreach Fund. Each year – usually in March – parishioners and others design beautiful and fun table arrangements demonstrating creative trends in entertaining. Plus talks from speakers, and a silent auction.

To get involved, or to attend, watch our bulletins and enewsletters, or check our calendar for upcoming dates. Or contact Cheryl Gutierrez (310) 791-7038 directly. There are plenty of fun opportunities to get involved both before and during the show each year!