This Year-End Celebration was especially significant as it marked the first year the organization presented two monetary college scholarships to graduating Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) seniors.
Johanna Carmona, a Marshall Fundamental Secondary School graduate who will be attending Sonoma State University in the fall, received a $1,000 Founder’s Award, while Laura Pinedo, a John Muir High School graduate attending Pasadena City College (PCC) in the fall received a $500 Founders Award. Silvia Pimentel, who graduated from Blair International Baccalaureate High School, also received a scholarship from one of many Lake Avenue Community Foundation partners. The Ascending Lights Leadership Network awarded Ms. Pimentel a full scholarship covering tuition and books, with additional funding for transportation and food. In addition, they will provide mentoring and leadership training throughout her time at PCC.
In an essay written by Johanna, she writes, “without the help at STARS, I would have never tried my hardest at school”, attributing her success to the support and encouragement of her tutors and mentor. “I am a step closer to reaching my dreams, and am proud to say I know I will reach them”, writes Laura Pinedo. As a teen mother, Laura, despite many major life challenges, worked extremely hard attending high school, adult school while working part time.
Pictured: Lake Avenue Community Foundation Associate Director Mayra C. Macedo-Nolan, STARS Founder Jill Shook, LACF Board Chair Bruce Stone, Lake Avenue Church Senior Pastor Greg Waybright and LACF Executive Director John Wilson with 2008 Award recipients Laura Pinedo, Silvia Pimentel and Johanna Carmona.