Scholarship fund brings hope to homeless, foster students

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IECN photo courtesy Children’s Fund: Supervisor James Ramos and his wife Terri present Children’s Fund with a $60,000 check to fund the Ramos Family Endowed Scholarship on Friday, Feb. 16. From left: Dr. Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, Children’s Fund President & CEO; Terri Ramos; Olu-Ebube Meigs, the first Ramos Family Scholarship recipient; Supervisor James Ramos; and Bill Nietschmann, Children’s Fund Endowed Scholarship Committee chair.
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Children’s Fund, a 30-year-old nonprofit focused on the needs of vulnerable children, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Ramos Family Endowed Scholarship Fund. A $50,000 gift was made by San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor James Ramos and his family to establish the fund.

The Ramos Family Endowed Scholarship Fund will award scholarships in perpetuity to homeless, transitional, unaccompanied, foster, former foster, extended foster youth, or other vulnerable youth, who are between the ages of 17 and 24 years old.

While priority will be given to Native American students, the Ramos Family looks forward to supporting students who are enrolled or accepted at a community college or university, or accredited vocational school in San Bernardino County.

“Our homeless and foster youth are among the most vulnerable populations in our communities. They also happen to be one of the most resilient groups,” said Supervisor James Ramos. “It is our hope that through the Ramos Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, we will open new opportunities for youth to succeed in college and create a better life for themselves.”

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James was born and raised on the San Manuel Indian Reservation. He grew up in a mobile home with his family. He learned a strong work ethic and followed a path to college, earning his associate’s degree at Victor Valley Community College, and his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University, San Bernardino, before attending the University of Redlands where he earned a master’s degree in Business Administration.

“Often times, an education is the only way our vulnerable youth can break the cycles of poverty,” said Dr. Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, the President & CEO of Children’s Fund. “The Ramos Family Endowed Scholarships will provide much needed financial support to hundreds of students over the years and bring hope for a better future for each of them.”

In addition to the establishment of the fund, the Ramos Family recently awarded four $2,500 scholarships to students: Olu-Ebube Meigs from Mentone, Gianni Oquendo from San Bernardino, Yiwen Tang from Ontario, and Destiny Vasquez from San Bernardino.

“I’m 18. I’m homeless. I was wondering what I was going to do, where I was going to go while I was waiting for financial aid for school. It’s a very long process,” said Olu-Ebube Meigs. “The scholarship from the Ramos Family helped me live while I was waiting. There was a sigh of relief when I heard I received the scholarship. It came at the very best time.”

40% of the scholarship funds are designated for living and other expenses.

To grow the endowment and increase the number of scholarships awarded each year, the family has planned a Scholarship Breakfast Fundraiser on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. at the University of Redlands.

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