SASS awards donor-inspired SASS Stars scholarships  

Written by SASS reporters on . Posted in Student Scholarships & Awards

Computer science major Jose Quinteros and business major Lorenza Villanueva are the recipients of the first-ever SASS Stars scholarships

Computer science major Jose Quinteros and business major Lorenza Villanueva are the recipients of the first-ever SASS Stars scholarships. 

SASS Stars is a new SASS program inspired by donors who wanted to provide significant financial support so that outstanding students could expedite their education. The scholarship is for $5,000 per year for two years. According to SASS Board President Laura Ayala, “The goal of the SASS Stars program is to help talented, motivated, and career-driven SASS students achieve their goals by accelerating their progress at community college.”

As a result of receiving their Stars scholarships, Jose could afford to quit one of his jobs and spend more time studying, and Lorenza was able to get her car fixed so that she didn’t need to spend time taking public transportation.  
 
To be eligible for a SASS Stars scholarship, SASS students had to have attended college for two or more years with a GPA of at least 2.5 and have clear and realistic career goals.  
 
We want to thank the very generous SASS donors who made these scholarships possible: principals at Private Capital Management Associates in San Mateo; Susan Russell, former SASS board president; Paula Uccelli, president of the Peter and Paula Uccelli Foundation; and Wendy and Porfirio Ortiz.

Cañada ESL profs lead SASS tutor training session

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Cañada ESL profs lead SASS tutor training session

Cañada ESL Prof. Rebekah Taveau

On February 11, close to forty SASS tutors attended a training session led by Cañada ESL professors Rebekah Taveau and Jeanne Gross. The session was the result of requests from SASS tutors to better understand the expectations of Cañada ESL professors and a desire to understand and employ effective strategies during tutoring sessions.    

“I’ve always been passionate about teaching and helping people with their writing, but until this training session I didn’t know much about the ‘how,’” says SASS tutor and Facebook employee Eva Gantz. “In just a few hours, the presenters filled up our tool kits with strategies, tips, and resources.”

Close to 200 SASS recipients head to college

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In fall 2016 SASS supported close to 200 students attending community colleges. About 95 percent of students are enrolled at Cañada College; the remainder attend other local community colleges including the College of San Mateo, Foothill College, and De Anza College. Students range in age from 19 to 66, with two thirds of students ages 25 – 44. About 85 percent are from Central America; the rest are from around the globe including Cambodia, Iran, Colombia, and Peru. Forty-six percent of recipients have children attending U.S. schools.

While most SASS recipients are ESL students, a growing number are High School Equivalency (HSE) students, adults who, due to challenges during high school, quit school, then returned to adult school to get a GED or high school diploma and, finally, enrolled in community college.

SASS hires its first coordinator

Written by SASS reporters on . Posted in General News

tania-sass-coordinatorWith close to 200 recipients, 40-plus tutors, a small but growing mentoring program, and a laptop donation program, SASS has a lot to keep track of. That’s why, in early August, we hired our first coordinator, Tania Ventura, who is herself a SASS recipient. Tania has a full course load at Cañada and also works half-time for SASS, where she helps coordinate the SASS tutoring, Clipper Card, and laptop programs.

SASS initiates Stars scholarship program

Written by SASS reporters on . Posted in Student Scholarships & Awards

SASS has initiated a new scholarship called SASS Stars whose goal is to help talented, motivated, and career driven SASS recipients achieve their goals by accelerating their progress at community college. The Stars scholarship provides two outstanding SASS recipients with $5000 scholarships for two years. To be eligible, a student must be a current SASS recipient who has attended Cañada or another local community college for at least two years. We will announce scholarship winners in December. 

Four SASS recipients awarded Associate degrees – all with honors!  

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Four SASS recipients or former SASS recipients have been awarded Associate degrees from Cañada College. Each of these students graduated magna cum laude or cum laude. In addition, six recipients earned certificates. Each of the graduates started out taking ESL classes at Sequoia Adult School and several have been supported by SASS for more than three years.

From left to right, graduate Rosa Mendosa and Rick Jeffrey Alarcon Sisniegas

From left to right, graduate Rosa Mendosa and Rick Jeffrey Alarcon Sisniegas


Students who earned Associate degrees include

  • Rick Jeffrey Alarcon Sisniegas graduated with degrees in economics, mathematics, and business administration and plans to attend UC Davis in the fall.
  • Amado Flores graduated with a degree in engineering and will study civil engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall.
  • Katherine Ramirez, who received a degree in economics, plans to continue taking classes at Cañada College for one more year before transferring to a four-year university. 

In addition, Brenda Lucia Canchola, Rosa Mendosa, Maria F. Rosas-Cisneros and Erika Velazquez received Preparation for Academic Scholarship and Success (PASS) certificates, signifying that they have completed all prerequisites required to take transfer-level college classes; Benito Kaki received a certificate in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and Maria del Socorro Anaya Rodriguez received a certificate in Administrative Support Assistant.

Sequoia Adult School Scholars, 3481 Janice Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303  |  (650) 395-8350