The Words Alive Teen Services Program attempts to engage students from Momentum Learning (formerly Juvenile Court and Community Schools) in literacy, reading and education in a variety of ways: through a monthly book club, writing and career readiness workshops and a scholarship program.
In 2007, San Diego philanthropist Ruth Westreich created the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Program, with the first scholarships awarded the following year. The program awards scholarships to Words Alive Adolescent Book Group participants to support them in their pursuit of higher education at the college or vocational level. Unlike other scholarship programs, which typically fund only tuition, books and educational supplies, each recipient is eligible to receive funds to cover the cost of rent, food, childcare, clothing, travel and other living expenses. Additionally, the program matches each recipient with a mentor. Student and mentor meet regularly throughout the school year, and the mentors provide guidance, direction, and often, a shoulder to lean on.
In the past month, we have seen three of our scholarship students, Domminiece Willis, Zaphire Alonso Duarte, and Lexi Martinez, graduate from community college with associate's degrees. All three students graduated on May 25, 2018, Domminiece from Southwestern College and Zaphire and Lexi from City College.
Words Alive is thrilled to have been a part of the journey towards success for all of these wonderful students. We are so proud of all of them; they embody what it means to persevere and thrive.
According to a 2018 survey, 100 percent of Words Alive Westreich Scholarship recipients said they now know how to access academic, professional and community resources on their own. Seventy-eight percent of scholars said they now feel more hopeful about their education and future.
“I realize that I’m resilient,” Domminiece wrote. “I might take a break, but I get back up. I won’t let myself fail.”
To learn more about this scholarship program, read more on the Words Alive! blog: