Local Farmers Raising Funds for First-Generation College Students

Letter
posted by Carina Ellen Woudenberg
Fri, May 16, 2014
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Farmers in rural San Mateo County are once again embarking on a scholarship drive aimed at helping Pescadero High School seniors become the first generation of their families to attend college or technical school.  Now in its second year, the Sustainable Farming Community Scholarship (SFCS) fund will help with tuition and other educational expenses for one or more students graduating from Pescadero High on June 6.

“Last year, we raised over $6000 from our local farmers and community members, which we awarded to three Pescadero graduates who have gone on to post-secondary education,’ explains Casey Norton, one of the drive’s organizers.  “This year, we hope to match or exceed that total for the class of 2014.”

Additional funds may also be used to help last year’s recipients with their continuing expenses. Noted Norton, “It would be great if we could continue providing some funds to help previous scholarship winners with tuition, transportation, and other costs. We want to make sure they can stay in school long enough to complete a degree.”

Geared for Farming Community

The scholarships are awarded based on the amount of money raised before the school’s June 6 graduation. Applicants must be among the first generation of their immediate family to attend any form of post-secondary education (community college, technical or trade school, or a four-year university). Preference is given to children of farmworkers currently employed in the agriculture industry in Pescadero and its surrounding areas.

Of the expected 24 graduates in Pescadero High School’s class of 2014, more than 80% intend to pursue a post-secondary education. Yet more than 58% of these students come from families whose parents never completed high school.
“Education strengthens every part of our community – the labor pool, family life and the local economy,” says Teresa Kurtak, owner of Fifth Crow Farm, who initiated the SFCS drive with Norton in 2013. “We are excited about being able to contribute back to the people who work on our farms.”

Send Donations to Pescadero High

All donations to the Sustainable Farming Community Scholarship (SFCS) are being handled through Pescadero High School, and are tax-deductible. Anyone may contribute to the fund. Checks should be made payable to “Pescadero High School” with “SFC Scholarship” in the memo line, and mailed to: Pescadero High School, PO Box 730, Pescadero, CA 94060.

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