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   Sequoia Adult School Scholars


Our mission: To provide scholarships and counseling for underserved students who attend Sequoia District Adult School and want to further their education
Look what we've accomplished in just two years: 

In 2010, we awarded 2 community college scholarships. In 2012, we awarded 34. 


We helped 44 students pay for GED tests; 90 percent of those students passed. 

We've obtained our own 501(c)(3) non-profit status!

Please help us support the growing number of students who deserve to attend community college or earn a GED!
Would you like to meet SASS scholarship recipients?

We're planning a lunch for donors and scholarship recipients. If you'd like to know more, send us an email at SASS Info.  

For more information about SASS, contact

Elizabeth Weal 



In this issue...
Dean's List Scholar:
Jose Manuel Bonilla

Only 364 of Caņada College's 6,430 students made the Dean's list last semester. SASscholarship recipient Jose Manuel Bonilla was one of them. Caņada also has awarded him a $650 Robert Stiff Scholarship.  


Bonilla grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. His parents could afford to send him to school for only six years, so at age 12, he started working to pay school tuition for another three years. At 18, Bonilla moved to Puerto Vallarta, finding work in a tourist restaurant so he could begin learning English.


When Bonilla came to the U.S. in 2011, he knew that, to earn a decent living, his English needed to improve. While working as a gardener, he enrolled in an ESL class at Sequoia District Adult School; then, with the help of a SASS scholarship, he transitioned to Caņada College, taking not only ESL classes but math, computer applications, and accounting as well.


Currently working at Fry's Electronics, Bonilla plans to major in accounting because he's good at numbers and, he says, "You can work anywhere and in any industry as an accountant."


Bonilla summarizes the role SASS has played in his education this way: "I just needed the help to get going," he says. "I had all the energy and desire, but I couldn't pay the fees." He adds, "Even though most the time we don't know our donors, I want to thank them for their support."

On His Way to a Profession: 
Amado Flores 

Last fall we awarded Amado Flores a $300 scholarship to pay for books and a bus pass so he could afford to attend Caņada College. A year later, Flores' outstanding academic performance earned him a $5,000 Pell Grant (a U.S. Government-financed scholarship) The grant will enable him to work fewer hours and devote more time to his studies. Flores plans to be a civil engineer.


Flores, who was a speaker at SASS's 2012 Sampling for Success fundraiser, came to the U.S. from Mexico two and a half years ago. After completing his ESL classes at Sequoia District Adult School, he continued studying ESL at Caņada College where he earned a 4.0 grade point average in his ESL classes.  


SASS provides financial aid for Sequoia District Adult School graduates who want to attend community college, but aren't eligible for financial aid from other agencies, In short, SASS has become a lifeline that makes it possible for students like Amado Flores to embark on their college careers.



SASS and "Deferred Action:" 

Elias Hernandez


Two factors motivated Sequoia District Adult School student Elias Hernandez to return to school to get his high school diploma: He wanted to serve as a role model and emphasize the importance of education to his 4-year-old twin sons and he wanted to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a new Federal program in which young immigrants can remain in the U.S. and work legally for two years.


Deferred Action allows immigrants who came to the U.S. as children or teens to apply for temporary work permits. To be eligible, individuals must have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday. They also must have a high school diploma or a GED, have served in the military, or be enrolled in school.


Hernandez, now 24, immigrated to Redwood City from Vera Cruz, Mexico, when he was 15. Now he's attending a High School Diploma class at Sequoia District Adult School. When he graduates he'll study business at Caņada College, with his books and parking pass paid for by a scholarship from Sequoia Adult School Scholars.


"Even if you have knowledge or skills, not having papers is a huge barrier," Hernandez says. "Now that I have this opportunity, I want to set an example for my kids and show them what I can do with my life."


Hernandez isn't likely to be the only deferred action applicant helped by SASS. When we started SASS we were focused primarily on ESL students who came here as adults. Now we also will have the opportunity to help adult students who came here as children or teens, didn't graduate from high school, and now have a reason to continue their education.