The SOY Board has set up a special scholarship in honor of retiring board member Jean Forbath. Jean was a founding board member and the treasurer of SOY for 22 years and retired from the Board in August. She was very proud of the scholarship program and the assistance SOY has provided to over 300 disadvantaged youth to get into prestigious colleges and universities, often the first in their family to do so.
The $5,000 scholarship would be granted to one SOY graduating senior each year. The SOY Board hopes to raise $25,000 to fund the scholarship for at least five years. So far, $11,000 has been pledged over a five year period, with $3,000 available so far for a senior from the class of 2016.
Jean stated, “It has been a labor of love to be associated with SOY these past 22 years and a tremendous honor to have this scholarship named after me– a legacy I will humbly treasure.”
Jean Forbath was one of the founding board members who met with the “Madres de Costa Mesa” in 1991 to help organize a safe place for the youth in our community to go after-school. Jean met with the mothers of the disadvantaged teens, including Carmen Barrios, and with the help of Joe Erickson, City Council Member, Ivan Calderon, Business Owner, and members of the school board and school community, among others, Save Our Youth was formed. Jean, as the executive director of Share Our Selves at the time, helped SOY receive its non-profit status and SOY was incorporated in 1993.
The SOY center was thriving with activities, tutoring, and a fitness center, and in 1999 the scholarship program started with the inspiration and financial assistance from David Gelbam to provide our youth access to fine colleges and universities. Since it’s inception, SOY has given out over $2.8 million in scholarships. In the peak years we gave out $250,000 a year. Last June we were able to award $70,000 to 18 seniors from Newport Mesa Unified School District’s high schools with the help from the Birches Foundation, a private Foundation from the OCCF, and other many other donors. We also help administer the prestigious Isidore and Penny Myers Scholarship, which awards $40,000, $10,000 per student per year for four years. We now look forward to setting up the Jean Forbath Scholarship. Please help if you can.