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Dear Friends,

We have BIG news to share! On Monday, April 20th, one of our Scholars, Kathy Ramirez-Gijon, was selected as a recipient of the coveted Gates Scholarship. Sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates Scholars are awarded a full-ride scholarship to the college of their choosing. We hope you’ll take a moment to read the Noozhawk piece here.

It was an honor to work with Kathy through each phase of the Gates Scholarship application process. Your donations, encouragement, and volunteering ensured that we were able to provide every bit of the support Kathy required. In particular, we would like to thank Daphne Tebbe for the expert guidance she provided during the essay portion of the scholarship application process, and Dr. Andy Gersoff for working so tirelessly to help prepare Kathy for the personal interview during the finalist phase.

The Gates Scholarship is a very big deal. Kathy’s status as a Gates Scholar will follow her throughout her college career, and it will enhance her educational trajectory for years to come, as she enrolls at USC and majors in mechanical engineering. Attending USC would normally be prohibitively expensive, costing more than $75,000 per year, but thanks to Kathy’s hard work, and the efforts and generosity of so many people in the Santa Barbara community, she will now be able to attend for free.

On a personal note, we find it incredibly gratifying to be able to share this sort of news with the people who believed in our mission from the beginning, and who helped us get our program off the ground. It feels wonderful to be able to show you, in such tangible terms, how effective and worthwhile your faith in Mission Scholars has been.

Thank you for your investment in her, and for your continued investment in all of our Scholars.


Cassie Lancaster, Katie Kinsella and Kim Phillips