School on June 23, lead an anti-drug and anti-tobacco education
campaign geared toward the district's elementary school children.
"I figured that if I could get my mother to stop, I knew we could
reach out to younger kids," Illya said.
It's that same energy which tonight earns her -- along with four
other local students -- a scholarship from the Glendale Scholarship
Illya will join Hoover High student Zulema Lopez, Glendale High
student Jose Castanon, Vage Ayvazyan, from John Daily High School,
and Crescenta Valley High student Jeffrey Harley in receiving $200
"They have compelling stories, they all are very deserving
students and we stand beside them to further their education,"
endowment founder and Glendale Unified School Board member Chuck
Sambar said. "All we want them to do is pursue a post-secondary
education, to become productive and fulfill their hopes and
Each graduating senior will receive $200 from the endowment, which
began in 2001 when Sambar made an initial donation of $1,000 through
the Glendale Community Foundation, which invests contributions and
uses the earnings to make grants to local charities.
Since 2001, the scholarship endowment has grown to more than
$14,000, with hopes that it grows much larger, Sambar said.
The students will be awarded the scholarships at 4 p.m. today at
the beginning of the School Board meeting at district headquarters.
For Illya, it's not about the money -- although the money
certainly doesn't hurt.
"It's awesome," she said. "I've worked hard through the high
school experience. I didn't work hard to get nominated for things."
The students were selected based on commitment to attend a two- or
four-year college, financial need, stories of overcoming obstacles
and how their stories will make a difference in a child's education
Glendale News-Press publisher Will Fleet will step into the role
of president of the endowment's foundation tonight as former Glendale
Unified School District Supt. Jim Brown steps down, Sambar said.
"I think it's always important to give back to the community, but
it means even more to me to be able to help achievement- oriented
young people who may need the assistance; once upon a time, I was
such young man," Fleet said.
The Glendale News-Press will help drum up support to help the
endowment fund grow, Fleet said.