ROSSMOOR

SCHOLARSHIP

FOUNDATION

 History of Rossmoor Scholarship Foundation

 

 

In 1965 a group of 15 Rossmoor residents chaired by Mr. Harry brooks met to create the Rossmoor Residents Scholarship Foundation Of Walnut Creek.  They agreed upon the founding documents and the articles of incorporation and filed them with the state of California. They intended to create a 501.C.3 organization that would make it their donations tax deducible. Of note is that the foundation was

also to develop an investment account to augment donations and that this fund was to have perpetual existence.  Two committees were formed: one to determine eligibility of prospective applicants and one to recommend on financial affairs.  Five years later the articles were amended to change the name to the Rossmoor Scholarship Foundation.

 

Fifty years ago, in 1967, the first scholarships, $300 each, were given to 5 students.  50 applications were received and 30 students were interviewed.  The awards went to Del Valle High School and to Diablo Valley College students.  Las Lomas students were also eligible.  Over the next 50 years the amount and number of scholarships gradually increased both due to the generosity of our donors and the success of our investment account.  We have progressed from $300 awards to $3000 awards; and in May of 2017, in honor of our 50th Anniversary, we gave 50 scholarships. Currently, Rossmoor Scholarship Foundation consists of 27 trustees, all volunteers, who share the work of the Foundation.  RSF still awards scholarships to DVC and Las Lomas students as well as students of 6 other local high schools. We still receive many more applications than we are able to award scholarships.

 

Recognizing community need, early on, the Foundation took on the responsibility of helping clubs such as Rotary and Kiwanis and individuals such as the Kaplan family select scholarship recipients.  Currently Rotary gives the Foundation $9000 each year to select 3 recipients for Rotary Scholarships.  We are very grateful for this partnership.  Also of great significance to the organization is the ability to make what we call add-on scholarships.  The students first have to qualify for a Rossmoor Scholarship, then they meet special additional requirements to receive an additional add-on amount of $2500 making their total award $5500.

 

Each year since 2006, 2 students, selected by the Kaplan family, have been honored for their community service.  Sylvia Kaplan was a past president of the Foundation and very active in community service all her life.

 

In 2012, Betty Hagstrom, a former trustee, set up the Hagstrom Family Trust Scholarships.   Each year, 2 students, who are interested in pursuing careers in the medical field, are selected for awards.  For the past 3 years, Dr. Nagendra Reddy, another former trustee, has sponsored awards for students interested in biological sciences.

 

Beginning in 2017, the family of another former trustee, Eleana Peratis, has sponsored a STEM award for a women interested in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.  And, the Chinese American Club of Rossmoor set up an award for a student interested in studying Chinese Culture.

 

New add-on scholarships for 2018 include one for a student interested in Instrumental Music, to be awarded by the Chamber Music Society of Rossmoor; and 2 add-on scholarships to be awarded by the Computer Club of Rossmoor for students going on to study computer science.

 

In 2008, a past trustee, Nada Neumann, an immigrant who felt strongly about the power of education, and who had received scholarships herself when she first came the U.S., began giving scholarships for students interested in foreign relations. Subsequently over the years, 10 students received $10,000 each to pursue their global interests.

 

Also since 2012, in a separate program coordinated with The Waterford, the residents there donate to give scholarships to Waterford wait-staff.  (These are young people who work in the dining room serving the residents living at The Waterford.)   These students, who often find it difficult to find the funds needed to continue their education, are most appreciative of these awards.

 

Over these more than 50 years, many on the board of trustees have guided and worked tirelessly on behalf of the Foundation.   However, awarding scholarships to talented, academically successful students who need help financing their higher education has given trustees a great sense of pride.   It is interesting to note that often students appreciate the boost of self-confidence that a scholarship gives them as much as the money that comes with the award.   This new “sense of believing they can do what they have set out to do” works to their advantage all their lives.

 

 

Contact Person:  Mariann Kessler   925.937.8596  mikess1940@gmail.com     DONATE