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 Sequoia Adult School Scholars
        Making college a reality for adults who never considered it a possibility 

Sequoia Adult School Scholars (SASS) provides financial support, tutoring, and other assistance to adult students -- most working in minimum wage jobs -- so they can enroll in community college to continue their education, get jobs that pay family-sustaining wages, and serve as role models and advocates for their children.
                            August  2017
Her SASS tutor by her side, 
Blanca Gomez  
beats the odds
SASS student Blanca Gomez has completed three semesters of ESL classes at Cañada College with a solid B average, no small feat for someone who left school after sixth grade.
Blanca insists that some credit for her academic success goes to her SASS tutor, Lauren Margolin. As Blanca sees it, "If Lauren didn't help me, I couldn't do this."   
Blanca Gomez (left) and Lauren Margolin 
A native of Mexico, Blanca didn't attend middle school because her Mom, a single mother, couldn't afford to pay for her books and uniform. After leaving school, Blanca worked at an ice cream shop and a tortilla factory. Then, at 17, she came to the U.S. so she could work and send money home to her family.
Blanca did well in her ESL classes at Sequoia Adult School, but struggled when she transferred to Cañada College.  
Enter Lauren Margolin, a mechanical engineer and Redwood City resident who learned about SASS's tutoring program on Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods. Lauren, who started tutoring Blanca in January 2016, is unabashedly enthusiastic about her student.  
"Blanca has a lot to do with why I continue," Lauren says. "She's fun to work with, motivated, and driven. And she's not giving up."

Sign up today:
September SASS Conversation Club
When: Friday, Sept. 15th,
7 - 9 p.m. 
Where: Sequoia Adult School, 3247 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park 
To sign up: Click here 
Welcome new SASS tutors! 
While the semester is just getting underway, we are pleased to welcome 14 new SASS tutors in addition to 40 tutors and mentors continuing from last semester. Below are some of our newest recruits photographed at recent SASS tutoring orientations. 
 This semester, SASS is making college a reality for more than 200 students who never considered it a possibility.  
DONATE here.  
It's a record:
215 SASS students head for college
This fall, SASS is sending 215 students to community college, a 15 percent increase over a year ago. In addition to Cañada College, students are enrolled in the College of San Mateo, Skyline College, Foothill College, and De Anza College.
SASS students at SASS's annual Back to College event 

While the vast majority of SASS students come from Mexico and Central America, we also have students from China, Columbia, Peru, Myanmar, Palestine, and Iran. The average age of a SASS student is 34 and about 90 percent of students live in Redwood City, Menlo Park, or East Palo Alto, with the remainder living in other Peninsula cities.  
Katty Rojas:  
Working 57 hours a week and going to college too
SASS student Katty Rojas is no stranger to Redwood City's staggering rents. Last month her landlord raised the rent on her one-bedroom apartment by $500 a month.  
As a result, Katty now works 57 hours a week: 27 hours as an administrative assistant at Farmers Insurance and 30 hours as a server at a senior facility, all while taking an ESL and an accounting class at Cañada College. Her goal is to earn certificates in accounting and administrative assisting.
Katty Rojas  
Katty, whose first job in the U.S. was a sales associate at Target, was able to take advantage of her prior work experience in her native Peru - coupled with her improved English skills - to land her job at Farmers. Still, she's needed a second job to make ends meet.  
SASS is key to Katty's ability to continue her education.  
"If I didn't have SASS, I couldn't afford my books so I couldn't continue to study and reach my goals for the future," she says.
Rave reviews for SASS's first Conversation Club
About twenty SASS students and twenty community members attended the first ever SASS Conversation Club on Friday, July 14 at Sequoia Adult School in Menlo Park.

The Club used a "speed dating model." Students and community members paired off and chatted for about 10 minutes; then changed partners.  
The Conversation Club was initiated by Jen Wang, a SASS tutor who ran a conversation club when she taught in Colombia.  
"I wanted to give SASS students an opportunity to practice English in a relaxed and fun environment and I wanted to give community members the opportunity to meet some of our students," Jen says. "The first meeting more than exceeded my expectations both in terms of the number of people who participated and the level of enthusiasm shown both by students and members of the community."