To the Brethren, and ladies of the Lodge. I bring you fraternal greetings from the West. I hope this message finds you all well! Our Masonic Center has been very busy, its great to see how active our lodge and youth groups have been! Our Rainbow Girls had their secret trip; they went Whale Watching along with a group of our Veterans from the Long Beach VA Hospital. We could not have chosen a better day to take this trip. Weather was beautiful, and we were fortunate to have many sightings of Whales, Dolphins and Sea Lions!
On the 25th of April we held our annual youth appreciation day at Boomers! The event was well attended by all of our youth groups, who also used this opportunity to invite some new prospects. Then on the 26th DeMolay held their Breakfast; featuring our newly trained chiefs making custom made omelet’s, and waffle’s. All who attended seemed to of enjoyed the new menu. More important the boys and girls had a blast cooking!
With Public Schools month coming to a close, I wanted to share with you some facts regarding our Public Schools Programs. We as Masons are making a difference!
- The Investment in Success Scholarship program, funded by the California Masonic Foundation, was de- signed to help students who are generally not otherwise being recognized by or benefitting from exist- ing merit-based scholarship programs. These students often have little expectation of being able to afford college.
- The Foundation’s Investment in Success program will award $600,000 in college scholarships to approxi- mately 340 under-resourced students who demonstrate “a burning desire to learn and succeed.” 95% of our students are the first in their family to attend college. 60-70% grew up speaking a language other than English.
- College success programs and mentors are the key to success for first-generation college students like our recipients of Investment in Success scholarships.
- GLOW, based in San Francisco, partners with the Masons of California to help administer the scholarship program. GLOW’s programs are specially designed to help young people navigate the challenges of getting a four-year college education in California by coaching them on how to manage their personal financial resources and by helping students access available federal and state funds.
- Our Foundation partners with organizational leaders in college access and success, who are supporting students to get ready to enter and graduate from college. GLOW works directly with these partner or- ganizations around the state to bring financial literacy and college financial planning programs to stu- dents who need help managing their resources.
- Our scholarship program is different from the traditional model of merit- based scholarship aid. Rather than asking students to apply for Investment in Success scholarships, potential scholars are nomi- nated by college success organizations like GLOW, Mission Gradu- ates, and First Graduate in the Bay Area. In Southern California, UCLA’s Early Academic Outreach Program and San Diego’s Barrio Logan College Institute are two such college success organiza- tions. Students are then invited to complete an application for the Investment in Success scholarship. Members of the California Masonic Foundation’s Public Schools Advisory Councils around the state interview scholarship finalists individually and select those who they believe will benefit most.
Other Program Information:
- Since the Investment in Success Scholarship program began in 2011, the number of full-time students enrolling and staying in college through the program has increased, and the percentage of dropouts has de- creased. Of the 89 Investment in Success scholars who began college in fall 2013, 74 percent are still in school. Eighty-nine new students enrolled in fall 2014, and only four have left college as of January 2015. About 50% of beneficiaries attend community colleges, and 50% are full-time students at California State University campuses, including San Francisco State University and San Jose State University.
- Of students who enroll at California’s community colleges, only 27% go on to a four-year institution within three years. Many leave school because managing the demands of life while getting a college education seems impossible. Money is only part of the reason.
- Funds are raised solely from individual contributions by California Masons. The scholarships are part of the fraternity’s statewide public education initiatives, which will bring more than $1 million to public schools, teachers, and students this year.
- Investment in Success awards are announced in late spring, and range from $500 for community college sum- mer school to $1,000 in the first full school year, up to $2,500 beginning in the junior year. Scholars also receive ongoing academic counseling, as well as financial literacy training, to help ensure their continued success. No Masonic affiliation or history of Masonic connection is required.
Fraternally, Mike Selix