Concord announces four Executive Director Leadership scholars

  • April 12, 2011

Cal State East Bay’s Concord Campus recently awarded four students the Executive Director Leadership Scholarship. Scholarship applicants must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrate commitment and leadership in community service, financial need, and attend classes at the Concord Campus.

“Many students balance family commitments, finances, schedules, and homework while maintaining good academic standing as they maneuver through college.  I am pleased that we can provide recognition and support to them through this scholarship.” says Emily Lowe Brizendine, Executive Director.  The 2010-2011 recipients of the Concord Campus Executive Director Leadership Scholarship are Jesseca Stone, Monica Robledo, Allison Gervis, and Lara Preece.

The scholarship is given to students at Cal State East Bay's Concord Campus based on GPA, financial need, and leadership in the community. The Executive Director Leadership scholarship is made possible by contributions from the Contra Costa Advisory Board and personal donations from faculty, staff, alumni, and other donors.

This year's recipients volunteer in their schools, hospitals, churches, and communities while maintaining GPAs of 3.5 to 4.0 and attending classes full time, excelling in the classroom and giving back to their community. They are:

Jesseca Stone, a single mother of two who aspires to become an elementary school teacher in the Martinez Unified School District, will graduate from the liberal studies program in 2012. "The scholarship will do so much," she says. "It will be a major help in my move into the (teacher) credential program."

Monica Robledo, a member of the Master's of Social Work cohort, has future plans to form an organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged families care for their children. She drives over 80 miles each way to attend classes at Concord. She says that receiving the scholarship "is awesome; I can't believe this!"

Allison Gervis is a second year student in the Cal State East Bay Nursing Program, which receives over 800 applications annually for 130 openings (65 at the Concord Campus). Although the work required to excel in the program is sometimes challenging for first year students, "Allison is an excellent student thus far," says Elaine Shingleton, nursing faculty member at the Concord Campus. "Allison worked well with the elderly population,” Shingleton observes, “and provided excellent care with compassion and confidence."

Allison hails from a Russian immigrant family which taught her to work hard, excel, and help others in the community. Continuing her community leadership even while attending classes full time at Cal State East Bay, she works as a workshop leader and career advisor at the One Stop East Bay Works Job Placement Center for displaced workers in Concord. At One Stop, Allison advises clients on career choices and skills. She teaches about labor laws and helps her clients learn about the compensation they can expect to earn in different industries. But her volunteer work doesn't end with One Stop.

Allison also volunteers with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, an organization that provides direct financial assistance for end-stage oncology patients to participate in clinical trials. Through Allison's personal experience caring for her sick mother, she learned the value of an excellent health care team. The care and concern her mother received is the inspiration that led Allison to join the Cal State East Bay Nursing Program.

Lara Preece won votes that elected her to the position of Level I Student Liaison for the East Bay Student Nurses' Association at the campus because she presented a plan outlining how the new cohort of 35 students can play a part in the development of the Nursing program at CSUEB.

This type of drive and take charge attitude is what she plans to use to obtain her Ph.D. and work as a nursing researcher and educator. Lara’s personal life has presented many challenges, including layoffs and divorce that left her a single mother living on a limited income. Lara describes her financial future as "hazy" and she frequently feels "as if I am an unwitting passenger on someone else's journey."  Yet in spite of the trials, she is excelling in the nursing program and volunteering as the vice chair of Park Middle School's Site Council in Antioch. Didi Del Chiaro, Principal of Park Middle School, describes Lara as "a shining example of dedication and leadership." That dedication led to her choice as the student speaker at CSUEB’s celebration of 30 years in Contra Costa County.

Congratulations to this year's Concord Campus Executive Director Leadership Scholarship recipients.

Give to Cal State East Bay's Executive Director Scholarship

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California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

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