The scholarships will be awarded according to merit, financial need and demonstration of achievement or overcoming challenges, said Lois Neil-Sambar, who heads the endowment's review committee for scholarships and awards. Ellen Cunningham, director of programs for the Education Financing Foundation of California; Elaine Y. Zinngrabe, president of the Glendale Scholarship Foundation and Glendale News-Press publisher; and Doris Boyer, president of the Glendale Community Foundation, announced the grant in a news conference before the Board of Education meeting.
"Our goals are to increase college participation rates in student populations that traditionally do not have very high college-going rates," Cunningham said. "And also to provide sufficient aid for students to enter college and also remain in school."
The Education Financing Foundation of California, which is celebrating its second anniversary on Feb. 3, awarded the money to the endowment — part of $10 million going to various scholarship funds across California, Cunningham said. The foundation sought school districts with an outstanding educational program as well as college-bound students in need of financial assistance.
Board of Education President Chuck Sambar and his late wife, Mary, started the Glendale Scholarship Endowment in 2001 when they donated $2,000 to assist needy and bright college-bound students. The fund was initially received well, but later struggled to procure donations. Before Tuesday's grant, the endowment stood at about $45,000.
"We are greatly grateful and indebted to [the Education Financing Foundation of California] for believing in the cause and for helping in such a material, substantial way," Sambar said.
The grant is a breath of life into the fund, which can now comfortably give scholarships that will meaningfully aid needy students' college careers, he said.
ANTHONY KIM is a reporter for the Glendale News-Press. He may be reached at (818) 637-3238 or by e-mail at anthony.h.kimlatimes.com.