2009 Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Recipients Selected

Innovative Scholarship Program Provides 360 Degree Financial Support
Innovative Scholarship Program Provides 360 Degree Financial Support
San Diego—June 23, 2008—Words Alive, a leading San Diego non-profit literacy organization that inspires a commitment to reading and develops shared reading experiences for children, youth and adults, has selected six outstanding young men and women as the 2009 Words Alive Westreich Scholarship recipients. Each will receive a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $5,000 over the course of the 2009-2010 academic year. The scholarship program was created in 2007 with a $175,000 gift from The Westreich Foundation.

The 2009 Words Alive Westreich Scholarship program recipients are as follows: Charles Williams and Patricia Graham, Monarch School, Celia Payan, Lindsay Community Day School and Quinnton Dueñez, Maria Lozano and LaShanae Johnson, Toussaint Academy of the Arts and Sciences. Patricia Graham will attend Connecticut College, which awarded her a $43,000 scholarship. All the other recipients are either currently attending San Diego City College or will enter as freshman this fall.
Unlike other scholarship programs, which typically fund only books, tuition and educational supplies, each recipient is eligible to receive funds to cover the cost of rent, food, childcare, travel expenses, and clothing, among other expenses.
“Words Alive reaches out to teens served by the Juvenile Court and Community School System who have faced extraordinary circumstances and whose resources are limited,” said Jennifer Williamson, executive director, Words Alive. “In creating the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship program, it was Ruth Westreich’s intent to provide recipients with the kind of support they would not ordinarily receive. This scholarship fund provides the extra support they need to be successful in school.”

All scholarship recipients are matched with a mentor, with whom they must meet at least three times during each semester. In addition to serving as both a guide and resource, Words Alive mentors are required to review all requests for scholarship funds above and beyond the initial $250 that is awarded to each recipient.

To be considered for scholarship funds, applicants must be high school seniors or graduates between the ages of 17-23 and current or past participants in the Words Alive Adolescent Book Group program, which is currently offered at six area schools: Mission School at Casa de Amparo, North County Technology and Science Academy, Lindsay Community Day School, Monarch School, Choice Summit School, and Toussaint Academy of Arts and Sciences. Applicants are required to demonstrate economic need, complete a rigorous application process, and must be planning to or already attending an accredited 2- or 4-year college, university or licensed trade/vocational school in the United States.

The 2009 Words Alive Westreich Scholarship recipients were chosen by a panel consisting of the following members: Jeffrey Heil, Technology Resource Teacher, University of California, San Marcos; Toney Shea, Recruitment Teacher, University of California, San Marcos; Christy Wagnon, Youth Program Director, YMCA La Jolla; Wendi Friedman, board member, Words Alive; and Larry Alfred, co-director of the Continuing Umbrella for Research Experiences program at University of California, San Diego, Rebecca and John Moore’s Cancer Center.

About The Westreich Foundation
The Westreich Foundation is committed to the healthy growth of nonprofit and philanthropy in San Diego by creating collaborations that work and encouraging consensus building among the key stake holders in our community. The Westreich Foundation is also committed to helping create a paradigm shift in the way medical care is delivered in this country. For more information, please access the foundation website at www.thewestreichfoundation.org.

About Words Alive
Founded in 1999, Words Alive is a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged, at-risk children, teens and adults discover how books can add meaning to their lives. Instead of teaching the skill of reading, Words Alive engages its program participants in the joy of reading with innovative programs and initiatives with the goal of creating lifelong readers and learners. For more information about Words Alive, its programs, volunteer opportunities, annual Authors Luncheon and giving opportunities, please contact Jennifer Williamson, executive director, at (858) 274-9673, jennifer@wordsalive.org or access our website at www.wordsalive.org.

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Words Alive is a non-profit organization that helps children, teens and adults discover the joy of reading and how books can add meaning to their lives.
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