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 Sequoia Adult School Scholars
  Helping adult learners succeed, one semester at a time

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.
                            March  2017
SASS student now one step closer to her dream   
SASS student Cindy Castillo was a special education teacher in Nicaragua. Now, her dream of working with special needs children in the U.S. is one step closer to reality.
Cindy Castillo
W hen Cindy came to the U.S. three years ago, she got a job at Chuck E. Cheese's earning $10 an hour. Today, thanks to her experience with special needs children and the English skills she gained at Cañada College, she's working as a caregiver for a 9-year old boy with autism, doubling her salary and doing the work she loves. Cindy's goal is to transfer to a university and get her special education teaching credential.
Out and about with  
SASS student Diana Viscarra  
SASS student Diana Viscarra made her public speaking debut February 22 when she shared her story with members of Redwood City's First Church. Her talk was part of an ongoing effort to increase SASS's visibility in our community.
Diana Viscarra  

"SASS was the first organization that believed in me. Because of SASS, I started to believe in myself," Diana told members of the congregation.
Diana earned her GED at Sequoia Adult School and began taking ESL classes at Cañada in 2014. This semester she is taking her first college-level English class as well as "Introduction to the Legal System." Her goal is to be a paralegal.
SASS name change  
Thank you to the almost 90 members of t he SASS community who completed our survey to gather input on our proposed new name. Because there was no clear winner, we're going back to the drawing board. We'll be asking for your input on some additional options in the coming weeks.
SASS awards donor-inspired Stars scholarships  
Computer science major Jose Quinteros and business major Lorenza Villanueva are the recipients of the first ever SASS Stars scholarships. 
Jose Quinteros and Lorenza Villanueva

SASS Stars is a new SASS program inspired by donors who wanted to provide significant financial support so that outstanding students could expedite their education. The scholarship is for $5,000 per year for two years. According to SASS Board President Laura Ayala, "The goal of the SASS Stars program is to help talented, motivated, and career-driven SASS students achieve their goals by accelerating their progress at community college."  

As a result of receiving their Stars scholarships, Jose could afford to quit one of his jobs and spend more time studying, and Lorenza was able to get her car fixed so that she didn't need to spend time taking public transportation.  
Brenda Cardenas (center) with her daughter Paula and SASS President Laura Ayala (right)

To be eligible for a SASS Stars scholarship, SASS students had to have attended college for two or more years with a GPA of at least 2.5 and have clear and realistic career goals.  
We want to thank the very generous SASS donors who made these scholarships possible: principals at Private Capital Management Associates in San Mateo; Susan Russell, former SASS board president; Wendy and Porfirio Ortiz; and Paula Uccelli, president of the Peter and Paula Uccelli Foundation.

Learning from the experts...
Cañada ESL profs lead SASS tutor training session
On February 11, close to forty SASS tutors attended a training session led by Cañada ESL professors Rebekah Taveau and Jeanne Gross. The session was the result of requests from SASS tutors to better understand the expectations of Cañada ESL professors and a desire to understand and employ effective strategies during tutoring sessions.     
Cañada ESL Prof. Rebekah Taveau

"I've always been passionate about teaching and helping other people with their writing, but until this training session I didn't know much about the how," says SASS tutor and Facebook employee Eva Gantz. "In just a few hours, the presenters filled up our tool kits with strategies, tips, and resources."
Saturday, June 3rd, 2:00 - 4:00,
Sampling for Success 2017
Details coming soon!
Now, more than ever, SASS students need your support!