Making Hope Foundation, AM launch Margaret Hill Memorial Scholarship

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Photo Making Hope Happen Foundation: The Making Hope Happen Foundation is launching a Margaret Hill Memorial Scholarship with a founding gift of $75,000 from AM, LLC. The scholarship is for graduates of San Andreas High School and this gift forms the beginning of an endowment that will provide the support in perpetuity.  Pictured holding the check are Niki Dettman, Vice President of the Making Hope Happen Foundation Board of Directors (left), Erin Thames, Chief Operating Officer of AM LLC (right), and Godwin Orkeh, AM's Regional Director - School Health Program (SoCal) (3rd from right) with Dr. Hill’s family members.

The Making Hope Happen Foundation is launching an endowed scholarship fund named in honor of the late Margaret Hill with a founding gift of $75,000 from AM, the nation’s leading provider of K-12 (education) & community health solutions for COVID-19 mitigation. The very generous inaugural gift was presented at the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 18th.

“Margaret Hill was the heart of this board and the soul of this District. She left us better people, a better organization and a better community” said Niki Dettman, Vice President of the Making Hope Happen Foundation Board of Directors, at a speech given at the meeting.  “There are few people who cannot tell a story about how she touched their lives.”

Dr. Hill started her career in the SBCUSD as a teacher in 1971 and retired in 2012 after 16 years as the principal of San Andreas Continuation High School. The daughter of sharecroppers in rural Virginia, she understood hardship and overcoming barriers. Her exceptional emotional intelligence enabled her to connect with and support students, staff and the community in authentic and motivational ways. She wanted the best for and from her students and community. Even in retirement, she was unstoppable, working first for the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, then joining the SBCUSD Board of Education where she was a part of a District turnaround that garnered national attention and recognition.

The Margaret Hill Memorial Scholarship will provide at least one Mentor-Supported Scholarship to a graduating senior from San Andreas Continuation High School each year, in perpetuity. Mentor-Supported Scholarships are the flagship program of the Making Hope Happen Foundation. Each scholarship provides $3,000 plus a paid mentor who works with the student for the first two years of their post secondary education. The funds can be used at any accredited trade school, college or university. Mentors are graduates of SBCUSD high schools, former scholarship recipients, and are either upperclassmen or graduate students. Their role is to help students transition from high school to college and to navigate through ups and downs for which the largely first generation college students would otherwise be unprepared.

AM provides mission-critical COVID testing, protocols, services, and education to SBCUSD staff, students, and families, making in-person education possible during the pandemic. “We are honored to be a part of this permanent memorial that does what Dr. Hill wanted: helps students to succeed.” said Erin Thames, Chief Operating Officer at AM, “We are a service-first organization and her mission of helping others is the archetype of who we strive to be.”

Donations to the Margaret Hill Memorial Scholarship fund can be made on the Making Hope Happen Foundation website at www.makinghope.org/margarethill. For more information, please contact Erin Brinker at erin.brinker@makinghope.org.

The Making Hope Happen Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, was established to support the hope making mission of the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Gifts to the Margaret Hill Memorial Scholarship are tax deductible. For more information about the organization and the work it supports visit www.makinghope.org or contact the San Bernardino City Unified School District Community Engagement Office at (909) 381-1294.