Briefs – Feb. 19

Posted: February 19th, 2016 | Briefs, Calendar, Opinion & News Briefs, News | No Comments

Teaching and STEM scholarship for SDUSD high school seniors

The San Diego Education Fund (SDEF) is accepting applications for college scholarships for seniors in high schools within the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) who are pursuing degrees in teaching or STEM studies. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. March 21.

SDEF is offering two types of scholarships:

The Rising Educators Scholarship is for students who plan to pursue a degree in teaching by attending a community or four-year college in San Diego County, can demonstrate financial need and plan to teach for three years in the SDUSD. The program works to increase the diversity of the pool of local educators teaching in San Diego schools. The program awards multi-year scholarships (including teaching credential year) to outstanding, low-income students who reflect the diversity of the school district.

STEM Scholarships are for students who plan to pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics by attending a community or four-year college in San Diego County and can demonstrate financial need. Initially established as an endowment by two prominent local educators, Jack and Virginia Mashin, the purpose of the STEM Innovators Scholars Program is to increase the number of students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Most of the scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college, and all come from families with limited incomes. Unique to the scholarships is the mentoring and counseling provided by SDEF to ensure that the recipients graduate from college. Each student is assigned a mentor who works closely with the student throughout the college years.

For more information about SDEF and its scholarship programs, including links to the online application forms, visit 

On the Go celebrates a quarter of a million rides

On Jan. 20, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) celebrated the 250,000th ride of On the Go –– a program that provides seniors with easy, accessible and affordable transportation to medical appointments, social engagements, errands and more. 

(l to r) On the Go coordinator Stephanie Keith, 250,000th rider Anna Ritter, volunteer driver Howard Kugler (Courtesy of J. Walcher Communications

(l to r) On the Go coordinator Stephanie Keith, 250,000th rider Anna Ritter, volunteer driver Howard Kugler (Courtesy of J. Walcher Communications

Volunteer driver Howard Kugler had the honor of transporting Anna Ritter from her San Carlos home to the College Avenue Center, located at 6299 Capri Drive to make the quarter-million milestone. This was not Ritter’s first ride. On the Go helped her recuperate since the loss of her husband in 2004 by taking her to and from College Avenue Center to visit with friends, play games, exercise and listen to interesting lectures. When Ritter has medical appointments, On the Go also helps get her there.

San Diego seniors lack easy, accessible and affordable transportation, causing them to miss medical appointments, personal appointments and errands to the pharmacy, bank and more. On the Go is a service that is available to all San Diego seniors, regardless of background or religion. Volunteer drivers, like Kugler, help these older adults maintain their independence and quality of life.

For more information, visit

Simon Youth Foundation seeks applicants for $1 million in scholarships

This year, living near Fashion Valley Mall could help a graduating senior pay for college.

Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, has begun looking for a graduating senior who lives within 50 miles of Fashion Valley, Carlsbad Premium Outlets or Las Americas Premium Outlets in San Ysidro to award a cash scholarship to.

Each year, Simon Youth Community Scholarships are awarded in every community across the country that is home to Simon, Mills or Premium Outlets malls. The application period has begun and ends on March 1.

Students can apply online by visiting

Any student who will be graduating in the Class of 2016 and lives within 50 miles of a Simon Malls property, like Fashion Valley, is eligible. Recipients will receive up to $1,500 to enroll in an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

SYF will also award 25 scholarships to students graduating in the Class of 2016 who live within 50 miles of any Premium Outlets mall nationwide, including Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Las Americas Premium Outlets. No more than one scholarship will be awarded per property. Recipients will receive up to $1,500 to enroll in an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

In addition, an “Award of Excellence” will be given to the top candidate from among the scholarship applicants that represent the nationwide Premium Outlets locations. That student will receive a $10,000 award ($2,500 for up to four years).

In 2015, the Simon Youth Foundation awarded $1.2 million to 300 students nationwide.

The 2016 SYF Community Scholarship recipients will be selected by International Scholarship and Tuition Services (ISTS), a third-party administrator. Students are selected based on a variety of criteria, including financial need, academic performance, leadership skills and participation in school and community activities. Those students who are the first in their family to pursue a post secondary education will also be given close consideration.

Recipients will be notified in May.

Scholarship for conservation

Conservation-minded high school seniors are encouraged to apply for one of five $1,000 college scholarships offered by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County (RCD). The RCD Conservation Scholarship Program encourages students who are interested in conservation, agriculture, environmental science, natural resources or biology to attend college and pursue careers in resource conservation or agriculture.

Applicants must be high school seniors who are planning to attend college in the fall of 2016. The complete application packet can be found on the RCD website at Submissions must be received by April 11.

“These scholarships are ideal for students who have a real passion about resource conservation or agriculture,” Sheryl Landrum, RCD district manager, said in a press release. “They are not strictly academic scholarships, but also take into account the applicant’s original essay, relevant experience, and letters of recommendation.”

For more information about RCD and its programs, contact Sheryl Landrum at 619-562-0096 or Or visit

20th annual bird festival

Bird lovers of all ages will celebrate 20 years of birds and local bird habitats at the “Sea, Sage, and Sand” Bird Festival from March 3-6 at locations throughout San Diego County.

San Diego Audubon invites the public to spend four days celebrating the region’s abundant collection of bird species –– one of the most diverse in the country –– and foster an appreciation of San Diego’s extraordinary bird population.

The festival comes packed with a variety of dynamic activities, including more than 40 field trips around San Diego County to spot hundreds of bird species; bird photography and art workshops; an optics fair to test top-tier bird-watching equipment; and rare opportunities to bird in untraditional locations, such as on a sport-fishing boat, a bike or on horseback.

On the final day of the festival, Audubon presents an expanded Family Day with bird-friendly fun for all ages. Parents and children will learn about San Diego’s bird populations with hands-on activities that include building birdhouses, exploring guided nature walks, and more.

In addition to a full lineup of interactive activities, the festival also includes educational seminars with expert presenters, including keynote speaker, environmental author and President of the American Birding Association Jeffrey Gordon.

For a full schedule of activities and to register, visit Registration is available for individual tours, workshops and single activities. For more information on the San Diego Audubon Society, please visit

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