Words Alive awards $30,000 in scholarships to college-bound San Diego students


Words Alive, a leading nonprofit literacy organization that inspires a commitment to reading and develops shared reading experiences for children, youth and adults, has awarded a total of $30,000 in scholarships to 11 outstanding students from the 22 San Diego County Juvenile Court and Community Schools. Each of the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship recipients will receive a scholarship award ranging from $1,250 to $5,000 for the 2016—2017 academic year.

The 2016 Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Program recipients are: Trisha McElroy of University of Southern California; Rose Gonzalez of San Diego State University; Dezarae Frost of San Jose State University; Destiny Frost of CSU Bakersfield, Brittany Jackson of University of California, Santa Cruz; Zaphire Alonso Duarte, Felicia Hurtado, Danielle Mejia, Daimeon Rodriguez, Diana Gonzalez Soto and Itzel Vega of San Diego City College

Unlike other scholarship programs, which typically fund only tuition, books and educational supplies, each recipient is eligible to receive funds to cover the cost of rent, food, childcare, clothing, travel and other living expenses. Additionally, the program matches each recipient with a mentor, who meets with his or her student throughout the school year, providing guidance, direction, and often times, a “shoulder” to lean on.

Rancho Santa Fe philanthropist Ruth Westreich created the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Program in 2007, with the first scholarships awarded the following year. The program awards scholarships to Words Alive Adolescent Book Group program participants to support them in their pursuit of higher education at the college or vocational level.

“Words Alive is honored that Ruth Westreich and the Westreich Foundation established the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship,” said Words Alive founder Leslye Lyons. “Their generosity has allowed us to help many bright, talented, dedicated teens achieve their educational goals. The whole community will benefit from what the students, in turn, offer back to all of us.”

To recognize the 2016—2017 scholarship recipients, Words Alive will host its annual Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Awards Ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. Aug. 15 at San Diego’s downtown Central Library, located at 330 Park Boulevard.