SOY Scholarships

Since its inception, SOY has provided more than $4.2 million in scholarships to SOY students attending four-year colleges or universities or community colleges. Upon graduation, every SOY senior who completes the academic program receives a scholarship to the college or university of their choice.
Kim, SOY alumna, UCI

Save Our Youth provided me with such a nice scholarship that I was able to live in the dorms like a regular college student rather than live at home.

Kevin, SOY alumnus, Cal Poly SLO

Because of SOY’s scholarship I am able to go to the college of my dreams, which I otherwise didn’t think was possible.

All SOY seniors receive a scholarship ranging from $1500 to $5500 if they fulfill their academic contract, participate in the college-bound scholarship program, and submit a SOY Scholarship application. Students receive their scholarships at a celebratory Senior Awards Night attended by donors, parents, and members of the community. We also provide a mandatory financial literacy course in the summer after their senior year as they prepare to go to college to help them with their financial planning in college.

In addition to the SOY scholarships, each college-bound graduating senior is invited to apply for the following:

  • Jean Forbath Scholarships,
  • Lamb Family Scholarship and
  • Isidore and Penny Myers Memorial Scholarship.

Please join us in funding the bright futures of our SOY students!

Every year since 1997, SOY has provided thousands of dollars of scholarship money to each college bound senior. This scholarship program exists with the generous donations from donors like you. The first 10 years of the program was fully funded by one major philanthropist, David Gelbam; since 2008, private donors and private foundations have funded the scholarships.

100% of all donations given to the scholarship fund goes directly to scholarships for the students with none being spent on administrative costs.

The Jean Forbath Scholarship

For SOY Students who will Change the World

How will you change the world?

In 2015, the SOY Board of Trustees set up a special scholarship in honor of retiring Board member Jean Forbath. Jean truly changed the community for the better. She founded Share Our Selves and was its Volunteer Executive Director for 22 years, helping thousands of people throughout Orange County. She was also a founder of SOY, a founding Board member, and its volunteer treasurer for 22 years.

Jean is very proud of the scholarship program that she helped set up with SOY’s first philanthropist and major donor, David Gelbam, and of the assistance SOY has provided to over 400 disadvantaged youth to access a college education, often becoming the first in their family to do so.

With the support of generous donors, this $5,000 scholarship is awarded each year to two SOY graduating seniors who exemplify Jean’s strong focus on community service and compassion for others.  The students chosen by the scholarship committee are those who will follow in Jean’s footsteps by changing the lives of others. Applicants must write an essay highlighting what they would do to try to change the world for the better.

Upon retirement 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 Scholarship Recipients: (All SOY students)

                        2016— Rebecca H., Valedictorian of Early College High School, UCI
                                   Cynthia H., Estancia High School, Cal Poly Pomona.

                        2017— Anthony A., Newport Harbor High School; UCSB
                                   Diana G., Newport Harbor High School; Cal State University, Fullerton

                        2018— Alexandra L., Early College High School; Chapman University
                                    Adrian L., Estancia High School; Bryant University, New York

                        2019— Angela C., Estancia, High School; Vanguard University
                                    Mariana L., Estancia, High School; Cal State University, Fullerton

                       2020— With the help of generous donors, the scholarship committee decided to award
                       four students during the pandemic due to the increase in both the number of
                       applicants and the increased need.

                       Vanessa G., Estancia, High School; UC Merced
                       Aldrish J.. Newport Harbor High School; UC Santa Cruz
                       Jocelyn R., Early College High School; UC Riverside
                       Gabriel V., Early College High School; UC Davis

                        2021— Mayra M., Estancia High School; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
                                    Bridget P., Early College High School; CSU Chico

                        2022— Natalie A., Estancia High School; CSU San Bernardino
                                    Yamil R., Newport Harbor High School; CSU Long Beach

                        2023— Melany C., Newport Harbor High School; UC Santa Cruz
                                    Yennifer L., Estancia High School; UC Santa Cruz

If I could change the world, I would start by focusing on creating a more equitable society. I believe that everyone should have access to the same opportunities, regardless of their background or where they come from. This means working to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent people from succeeding, such as poverty, racism, and discrimination.

Yennifer L.

SOY assisted me in molding who I am. So, when I receive my degree, I want to become a psychologist for a non-profit organization. I would like to assist low-income communities to grow families with the happiness they deserve.

Melany C.

Lamb Family Scholarship

For SOY Students Making a Difference

To apply, students must submit an essay
answering the question:

How will you contribute to making a better, kinder and more tolerant world?

Dave and Pat Lamb are longtime SOY supporters who wanted to increase their impact on the lives of our students. In 2019 they created the Lamb Family Foundation Scholarship for one deserving SOY student who will attend a four-year university. This $40,000 scholarship is given to a student who exemplifies the characteristics of a caring individual who will contribute to the betterment of society. The recipient will receive $10,000 per year for four years.

Lamb Family Scholarship Recipients - (All SOY scholars)

2019 —Jessica L., Estancia High School, UC Irvine

2019—Mike J., Early College High School, Cal State Univ. Long Beach

2020—Zaira A., Estancia High School, UC Berkeley

2021—Rogelio C., Newport Harbor High School, UC Irvine

2022—Kristina H., Estancia High School, Cal Poly Pomona

2023—Aleyda C., Estancia High School, UC San Diego

Four of the Lamb scholars with the Lambs and the Cappellinis. June 2022

Kristina is the Lamb Scholarship Winner! Congratulations!

Three Lamb and Myers scholarship recipients coming to pick up their third and fourth year award checks. All three of these students, Rogelio, Ashley and Jessica attended UCI.

Isidore and Penny Myers
Memorial Scholarship

For Immigrants or Children of Immigrants

SOY has been administering the prestigious Isidore and Penny Myers Memorial Scholarship since 2007. The $50,000 scholarship (originally $40,000) is intended to change the life of a Newport-Mesa Unified School District student who is either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant and will be attending a 4-year college or university. The award is granted to a male in even number years and a female in odd number years. Although the scholarship is not exclusive to SOY students, many SOY students have been selected. SOY distributes the funds in $12,500 annual increments directly to the recipient while he or she is in college and maintaining a high GPA.

Selection for this scholarship is based upon scholastic accomplishment, a history of service and positively participating in school and community life, a love of learning, an ability to go forward regardless of obstacles and a vision of what the student wants to achieve in the future. SOY Board members serve on the scholarship committee along with members of the Myers Family Foundation.

Isidore and Penny Myers, now deceased, established their Scholarship Fund in 2006 to enable young people to acquire a college education.

Mr. Myers has said,

“Dreams can become a reality for those who are willing to give their all. In America you can be anything you want to be, but a good education is imperative.”

The Isidore & Penny Myers Scholarship, administered by SOY, has helped launch careers!

All recipients listed below who have finished college are attending graduate school or working as lawyers, teachers, social workers, computer designers in the film industry, engineers, nurses, and more.

Myers Scholarship recipients
(recipients who were SOY students noted in parentheses)

2007—Marisa M., Newport Harbor HS, UC Berkeley

2008—Oscar L., Estancia High School, UC Irvine (SOY)

2009—Blanca M., Estancia, Cal State Univ. Fullerton (SOY)

2010—Hector P., Estancia High School, UCLA (SOY)

2011—Jasmin C., Newport Harbor HS, UC Irvine

2012—Jorge H., Newport Harbor HS, UC Riverside

2013—Guadalupe P., Estancia High School, UC Santa Barbara (SOY)

2014—Ricardo H., Estancia High School, UC Berkeley (SOY)

2015—Arelly O., Estancia High School, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SOY)

2016—Andy C., Estancia High School, Cal State Univ., Long Beach

2017—Xally V., Costa Mesa High School, Cal State Univ., Chico

2018—Kevin C., Newport Harbor HS, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SOY)

2019—Jennifer N., Estancia High School, UC Berkeley (SOY)

2020—Alex M., Newport Harbor HS, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

2021—Ashley M., Newport Harbor HS, UC Irvine

2022—Armando Z., Newport Harbor HS, UC Riverside (SOY)

2023—Wendy O., Estancia High School, UC Merced (SOY)

Jay Myers with 2023 Myers scholar Wendy O. and her family.

They get together each year with the scholarship committee to catch up and welcome the new scholarship recipient to the group of Myers scholars. Scholarship committee & recipients 2022.

Congratulations! Armando Z.

Myers scholars 2023

If you are an immigrant or son or daughter of a first-generation immigrant graduating from a NMUSD high school, then you may download an application here.
To read more about Isidore & Penny Myers and the Myers scholarship click here:

For more information, email:

The Myers believed:

Education is precious because once you have it, you cannot lose it. Education is the seed your children will sow. Wisdom is the crop your children's education will reap. Wealth is not what we've earned. Wealth is what we have saved. What we have saved makes it possible to fulfill this and other dreams.

If you would like to provide a scholarship like the Myers or the Lambs, please reach out to Mary Cappellini to discuss:

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