Community Outreach: ALASVC Helps Graduating High School Students

Freshman Outfitter Scholarship Packages for Two Graduating High School Students

In partnership with East Palo Alto-based Live In Peace organization, ALA Silicon Valley Chapter awarded two graduating high school seniors a "Freshman Outfitters" scholarship package to help them get started as they head off to college at Cal-State Monterey. The scholarship packages valued at $750 include a backpack, laptop, supplies, and a $300 gift card. 

Live In Peace is an organization committed to advancing the cultural, educational, and economic empowerment of youth in communities of color. They fulfill this mission by building a strong family atmosphere that supports youth in the following three program areas: the L.I.P. Studio (arts & culture), the College Initiative (education) and Street Code Academy (technology & economics). In each program, students discover, develop and direct their creative genius for the benefit of their community and the broader world. 

Led by ALA SVC Community Connection Chair, Shirley Laboy, in partnership with this organization, the Silicon Valley Chapter awarded scholarships to two graduating high school seniors. Brianna Brown, a counselor in their College Initiative program, identified the deserving students. The Chapter Board asked each student to write an essay answering the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to go to college
  2. What was the reason you chose the college you will attend
  3. What are your three favorite things about school or learning
  4. What items would help you with started in your first year
  5. What difficulties have you had in school and how did you handle them?
  6. After graduation, how do you plan to give back to your community

Here is an overview of each scholarship recipient:

Geeta Devi Dao graduated from Carlmont High School with a 3.5 GPA. She graduated on Honor Roll and had perfect attendance. Her extracurricular activities include ceramics, web design, film, dance and being a soccer coach.

Although she is not the first in her family to go to a college, she is the first in her family to go immediately to a four-year institution. Her essay was very honest about her reasons for attending a four-year institution, e.g., to have the college experience and going to college will ensure she will not have money worries in the future. She is also honest about why she chose this college (the cost).

Geeta lives in a household where the entire family income is about $40K. What that means to her is that she does not receive the assistance others with lower incomes may receive.

Kimberly Marquez graduated from Woodside and has also chosen to attend CAL State Monterey Bay. She has lived in East Palo Alto all her life and will be the first in her family to go to any college. She has a 3.3 GPA and also graduated on Honor Roll. She has been on the Principles List (that’s a good thing), and has been recognized as an “AVID Rising Star” – she took college classes along with her high school courses. She is a member of Girls Who Code (technology group of girls learning the basics of coding) and the Youth Action Team (works on community events).

In her essay she mentions she almost dropped out of school in her sophomore year in conjunction with her mother being diagnosed with cancer. She fell into a depressed state and her grades dropped, but with the support of her family and friends, pulled out of that mindset and got her grades back on track. After college, she is looking to get into the field of psychology. Kimberly lives in a household with a $20K-$30K income.

These young women are also friends, and one of the many reasons why they chose this college.

The first Freshman Outfitters scholarship package was presented to Kimberly with Chapter President Kitty Dowgert in attendance and the second to Geeta with almost the entire Board present.

We wish these young women much success and have asked that they check in from time-to-time and report on their progress.

View photos of the recipients here

Read More about the Chapter's Community Outreach Projects