Each year, The San Diego Foundation scholarship team and its donors get together to review applications from nearly 3,000 students pursuing their higher education dreams.
Community Scholarship Program scholarships range from those for graduating high school seniors, all the way to medical and professional school students and adult re-entry students. And during this time, hundreds of students are interviewed to select the applicant that best matches the criteria for each individual scholarship fund.
In fact, this year, more than 820 students will receive scholarships from The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program and its donors.
The time and effort that goes into the process is no small feat. Outside of the university system, The San Diego Foundation administers the largest scholarship program in San Diego County.
Which means the program also relies on the expertise and support of many San Diegans. In addition to the scholarship staff and donors, volunteers play a critical role in the review process of each student candidate.
In recognition of their efforts and continued support of the Community Scholarship Program, we asked volunteers to share why they decide to donate their time.
Why do you give your time to help The San Diego Foundation’s Community Scholarship Program?
Marc Sternberg, MD: In my opinion, education may be the single most important variable that determines future career success for young adults. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.
Rebecca Bennion: I believe that volunteering and serving others is essential if you want to incorporate any kind of authentic virtue into your life. Serving people is both an honor and a sacred privilege. Why? Because typically, you participate in a part of their life that is tender or sensitive. Yet, when you serve them they exert their trust in you. And to be trusted is to find yourself in a sacred place. It makes me want to be as good to them as possible to honor their trust in me.
What is the most rewarding part of volunteering for the Community Scholarship Program?
Marc Sternberg, MD: For me, I love the opportunity to give my time and service for a wonderful organization such as The San Diego Foundation.
Rebecca Bennion: The most rewarding part is meeting and interviewing the students. It does my heart good to see how hard they work, how conscientious they are, how poised and accomplished they are, often many times in the face of adversity and struggle. How can one not be touched by their lives? Plain and simple, I love every minute I spend with these wonderful students.
Support Youth Education
The San Diego Foundation will give more than $2.2 million to local students pursuing higher education this year. Much of this is made possible by community leaders and philanthropists throughout the region who open scholarship funds with The San Diego Foundation to grow a vibrant San Diego region of future leaders.
If you are charitably minded and passionate about education, supporting youth education and local students through a scholarship fund is a visionary way to make a meaningful impact in San Diego.
Where do you volunteer in San Diego? Share why you decide to donate your time in the comments below!