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SCOE Helps State Treasurer Award College Scholarships

ScholarShare Rewards Achievement, Encourages Students and Families to Invest for College

Students receiving scholarships

Students from 14 Sacramento County area schools received scholarships.

One hundred middle school and high school students in Sacramento County received college scholarships through a new pilot program designed to provide scholarship money and help families start saving for higher education.

On May 30, 2008, at the Sheldon High School Performing Arts Center, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon joined Deputy Treasurer Tricia Wynne in distributing the second wave of college savings awards to 100 seventh- through 12th-grade winners of the ScholarShare Project for Achievement and Recognition of Creativity (SPARC) contest.

"Our goal is to not only help fund future education, but to also inspire our young to attend college. If we plant the seed of savings in the minds of parents and students they will see that college can become a reality," Superintendent Gordon told the crowd. "With a disciplined savings program combined with financial aid every one of you young people can attend college."

SPARC awards recipients were chosen based on their ability to expand on the theme, "I Will Become…" Students in grades 7-12 competed in an essay or video contest for 100 awards valued from $750-$1,250 each.

The awards were given to winners from 14 middle and high schools in Sacramento at a ceremony led by Master of Ceremonies Rick Kushman of The Sacramento Bee.

Sacramento City Unified

  • Hiram Johnson High School
  • John F. Kennedy High School
  • Luther Burbank High School
  • Sam Brannan Middle School

Elk Grove Unified

  • Florin High School
  • Laguna Creek High School
  • Sheldon High School
  • Valley High School
  • Harriet Eddy Middle School
  • James Rutter Middle School
  • T.R. Smedberg Middle School

San Juan Unified

  • Del Campo High School
  • John Barrett Middle School
  • Jonas Salk Middle School

Also on hand to help distribute the awards: Christina Penna, Elk Grove Unified School District Associate Superintendent, Mary Shelton, Sacramento City Unified School District Associate Superintendent, and Rick Jennings, Sacramento City College Board Member.

In all, SPARC provided $150,000 in college savings awards to 200 K-12 students. The project is a partnership between ScholarShare, California's 529 college savings plan, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), and the California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP).

The SPARC contest, operating as a pilot project, was open to students in grades K–12 at 29 Sacramento County schools. Students in grades K-6 competed in an essay or poster contest for 100 awards valued at $500 each in December of 2007.

David W. Gordon speaking

Superintendent Gordon addressed the gathering, attended by more than 300 students and parents.

Rick Kushman speaking

Rick Kushman, TV columnist for The Sacramento Bee, served as Master of Ceremonies.