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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 , tutoring, and other assistance to Sequoia District Adult School English as a Second Language (ESL)  and High School Equivalency (HSE) 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.
Summer 2015

SASS Celebrates  

Fifth Anniversary in Style!  

More than 150 guests attended this year's Sampling for Success, a gala event celebrating SASS's five-year anniversary. Thanks to the many supporters who attended and donated generously to SASS; keynote speaker Amanda Renteria, who took time out from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to share her story; exemplary student speaker Moises Bautista; SASS recipients, for fantastic food and expert schmoozing; and the Sampling for Success event committee who made it all possible.

Keynote speaker Amanda Renteria with SASS recipient Brenda Canchola  
SASS recipients made all of the food for the event!
SASS recipient and event musician Santiago Gonzalez with SASS supporters Jon and Danielle Mewes

SASS recipient Mauro Barrera with SASS supporters Alison Elliott and Mary Ann Byrnes

Calling New Tutors! 

Word about the SASS tutoring program has spread and several SASS recipients are requesting tutors for fall semester. If you'd like to learn more, please go to the tutoring section of our Web page or contact us.     

Community Organizations Show Support for SASS

Thus far this year, SASS has been supported by three community organizations: the Woman's Club of Palo Alto, the Menlo Park Rotary, and Share the Plate, a program sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City.


Each of these organizations can contribute to only a limited number of  non-profits, so we're honored to have been chosen to receive their support. During the first half of 2015, SASS also has received generous support from the Atkinson Foundation, Philanthropic Ventures, and Facebook.

Want to read about outstanding SASS recipients?

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An Historic Occasion:

First SASS Recipients Earn Associate Degrees

Congratulations to Moises Bautista and Vanmala Oupraxay, the first ever SASS recipients to earn associate degrees from community college.  

Moises was awarded an associate degree in engineering from Caņada College and, in the fall, will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispso where he will major in industrial engineering. (Listen to Moises' compelling speech at SASS's 5th anniversary celebration below.)  

Vanmala Oupraxay, a native of Laos, received an associate degree in accounting from the College of San Mateo and plans to attend San Jose State or San Francisco State where she will work towards a bachelor's degree in accounting.


In addition, two SASS recipients earned vocational certificates. Karen Rojas received a certificate in medical assisting and Laura Caranza received a certificate in early childhood education. Both will continue to study at Caņada College to pursue associate degrees.

Three SASS recipients ­-- Silvia Gomez, Maria Anaya Rodriguez, and Rick Alarcon --  received Preparation for Academic Scholarship and Success (PASS) certificates. A PASS certificate indicates that a student has completed all of the ESL and English courses necessary to take transfer-level classes that count toward a degree at a four-year college or university.

Given that most SASS recipients attend college part-time because they need to work and must complete extensive ESL course requirements before they can take other college classes, it typically takes a minimum of four years for SASS recipients to earn a degree or certificate. Since SASS has been awarding scholarships for only five years, we are just beginning to see students who have gone through the pipeline.

SASS Recipients Need Laptops!

It's hard to imagine attending college without a laptop, but many SASS recipients are doing just that. We are pleased to report that an anonymous donor has donated funds for 10 laptops to SASS recipients. If you'd like to contribute funds for additional laptops, please contact us. We're also looking for used laptops that are less than four years old. Your donation is tax-deductible.

Every semester, SASS serves more and more students. Please help us continue to support each one!

Donate Today!