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 Sequoia Adult School Scholars
        Helping adult learners succeed, one semester at a time

Our mission: Sequoia Adult School Scholars provides financial support and assistance to Sequoia District Adult School ESL and GED students--the vast majority of whom have minimum wage jobs--so they can enroll in community college to continue their education and expand their career options.  
Fall 2014

Close to 100 SASS Recipients Head to College


This fall, 97 students received SASS scholarships, an all-time high for a single semester and a 24 percent increase over last year at this time.   


Current SASS recipients range in age from 19 to 61. While the majority are from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, SASS is also supporting students from Peru, Congo, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Cameroon.  SASS also is supporting five students who passed the General Education Development (GED) test and are now attending community college.  

SASS recipients and family members at a SASS orientation session held prior to the start of fall college classes.

Donate to SASS When You Shop at Amazon


Every time you shop at Amazon, you can help support Sequoia Adult School Scholars. Here's how:

  1. Visit Amazon Smile
  2. Sign in using your Amazon log-in or create a new account.
  3. Select Sequoia Adult School Scholars as your charity.
  4. Shop.

A percentage of your purchase automatically comes to Sequoia Adult School Scholars.  


We also encourage you to donate directly to our growing number of deserving students! 

SASS Recipient Accepted in Innovative College for Working Adults


SASS recipient Silvia Gomez is among the first students to be enrolled in the new Caņada College for Working Adults, a program in which adults, while working full time, take just three years to complete an Associate in Arts degree with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences.



Silvia came to the US from Mexico when she was 15 but, because she needed to care for an ailing relative, attended high school here for less than a year. After she'd been in the US for several years, Silvia enrolled in ESL classes, first at Sequoia Adult School and then at Caņada College, completing Caņada's program of ESL classes this summer.  


In her first semester attending the College for Working Adults, Silvia is taking classes in American history, reading and composition, and music history.


"I'm learning a little bit about everything," Silvia says. "For me, this is a good way to find out what I want to do in the future."


Want to read about other outstanding SASS recipients?

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 SASS, Cystic Fibrosis, and a Mother's Determination
to Learn English

Thanks to a SASS scholarship, Corina Romero, a mother of two children with cystic fibrosis, learned enough English to successfully communicate with her children's medical team.


Corina and her daughter at Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital (Photo courtesy of Norbert von der Groeben)

Corina came to the United States from El Salvador when she was 21. When her children--now six and nine--were first diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Corina knew no English, so she was forced to depend on medical interpreters to translate. This was particularly challenging when her children were hospitalized, something which happened close to a dozen times a year.   


Corina's response was enrolling in ESL classes--
first at Sequoia Adult School and then at Caņada College--so she could learn enough English to speak directly with her children's medical team. Corina has achieved her goal: today, when hospital personnel ask her if she'd like an interpreter, she politely declines.


Corina received her first SASS scholarship in 2011. Since then, she has received more than $1500 in SASS scholarships for textbooks and parking permits.   


In July, Corina's daughter Doris received a double lung transplant so, for now, Corina is foregoing college and caring for her daughter full time. Long term, her dream is to be a nurse. "I know how to give my daughter an IV, flush the line, and change the G-tube (gastronomy tube). After that, being a nurse shouldn't be so difficult," she says


To see a video of Corina and Doris filmed before Doris's lung transplant, go to Lipstick Girls Awaits Lung Transplant 

What It's Like to Tutor a SASS Recipient


SASS recently launched a tutoring program in which we pair community volunteers with SASS recipients who need help with their classes. Most tutoring involves helping ESL students with reading comprehension and basic English grammar. The commitment is a minimum of an hour a week. Each tutor-student pair picks a location that's convenient to them both.  


Nancy Weed started tutoring SASS recipient Victor Montiel last March. We asked Nancy to write a paragraph about what tutoring Victor means to her and we asked Victor to write a paragraph about what being tutored by Nancy means to him. Their responses are below.

A tutor talks about her student

"Victor was struggling in one of his ESL classes, and was referred to me. As a result, I met a young man who continues to astonish me with how very bright he is; who is amazingly eager to learn and is exceptionally hard working. It's as if I can't teach him enough. It is possible that without a tutor, me, this exceptional young man--whose goal is to be an architect--could spend his life working in restaurants or similar jobs--a loss to the community and to his children and their children, all of whom will be affected by Victor learning English and therefore changing the trajectory of his life."


A student talks about his tutor

"Working with Nancy is a great opportunity for me. I feel comfortable with her. I learned several things that didn't know, but the most important is to keep working hard. Our sessions are fun and interesting. I like them because she answers the questions that I have and she gives me the opportunity to practice my English skills. I admire Nancy's patience. I think that this a good time to say thank you, thanks for everything and especially for motivating me to keep learning."


When you tutor a SASS recipient you're setting yourself up to build a relationship and transform a future. To learn more about this program, email Elizabeth Weal at or call her at (650) 395-8350.