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PHOTO CAPTION: (left)  Scholarship Co-Chair Mary Geong, Ivan Kho (Oakland High),  Maria Robles (Life Academy), Maria Pelayo (Lighthouse Charter High) and Daniel Mastin (Skyline High) - not pictured Miko Jones & Raina Ford.
The Saroni Lena Scholarship Program provides scholarships to Oakland high school students who have demonstrated need for financial assistance and are academically qualified to complete a 4-year college Awards an average of five or more $5,000 undergraduate scholarships per year Assigns Rotary Counselors as mentors to scholarship recipients for the duration of their college life Our Accomplishments: Scholarship program started with a generous bequest from Rotarians Nat Lena and Al Saroni, Sr. in 1962 with matched funds by the Rotary Club Over $1 million dollars in scholarships have been awarded to over 600 Oakland high school students Over 90% of the awardees do complete college and 35% go on to graduate school. 2/3 of the students go the University of California or to the State University systems. The University of California, Berkeley is the number one choice for our scholars followed by UC, Davis.
See our press release below:

May 20,2011
Press Contact:  Jo Ann Driscoll, PR Chair
510-665-5592; Cell 510-459-8144

$30,000 in Scholarships Awarded by 
The Rotary Club of Oakland to City’s High School Students 
 (Oakland, CA) --The Rotary Club of Oakland has awarded $30,000 in $5,000 college scholarships to six outstanding Oakland high school students who have exhibited academic excellence and financial need during the club’s weekly meeting on Thursday, May 19, 2011. 
The 2011 scholarship awards mark the 48th continuous year of providing scholarships for Oakland’s most deserving high school students.  Contributions over these years from club members have totaled more than one million dollars and have provided assistance to over 600 students.  Presently, 24 Oakland Rotary scholarship students are enrolled four-year colleges and universities around the country.  The Rotary Club of Oakland’s scholarship program, named after two of its founders, is one of the oldest and largest continuous college financial assistance programs in the region.  

In addition to the award of a $5,000 scholarship, each Rotary scholarship student is assigned a Rotary counselor, who is a member of the Saroni-Lena Scholarship Committee.  Each Rotarian works closely with their scholarship student throughout her or his college career.  Counseling includes mentoring in adjusting to the college academic rigors, the collegiate social environment, as well as financial assistance planning and other matters.
The 2011 Rotary Club of Oakland Saroni-Lena Scholarship Winners are:
Raina Ford, St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland.  Raina will be attending UCLA and plans to major in Psychology.  In addition to pursuing a career as a medical social worker, Raina has aspirations to become both a school and private psychologist.  While attending St. Elizabeth High School, Raina has been a member of the student council since her freshman year.  She is a member of the National Honors Society, part of the Youth Empowerment System (YES) and a campus minister.  Raina is the oldest of five children and will be the first to attend college.  Raina will be honored as her class’ salvatorian at graduation.  Her assigned mentor is recognized musician and attorney Rick Baskin. 
Miko Jones, Holy Names High School in Oakland. Miko plans to attend Wooster College in Ohio and plans to major in Biology.  Miko is an athlete and a scholar.  She was a member of the Varsity Basketball team for three years, a member of the Achieve Scholarship Program and has been on the honor roll since 9th grade. She is a Life Member of the California Scholarship Federation, a member of the National Honor Society and challenged herself by enrolling in the SMASH Academy at U.C. Berkeley over the past three years.  Miko would like to combine her interests of math and science and pursue a career in the medical field.  Miko’s mentor is Karen Lee. 
Ivan Kho, Oakland High School in Oakland.  Ivan will be attending U.C. Berkeley and plans to enroll in the College of Letters and Science, pursuing a major in Environmental Studies and minor in Business Administration.  Through the Lake Merritt Environmental Study program at Oakland High School he spent every Tuesday at Lake Merritt conducting bio-assessments and collecting data on water samples.  Through his studies in the E-Waste Recycling program and the Shoreline/Creek restoration project, Ivan began to develop an appreciation for his connection to his environment. He is also an athlete; while attending Oakland High, Ivan played tennis for 4 years, was a member of the cross country track team and the crew team.  His mentor is Mary Geong.
Daniel Mastin, Skyline High School in Oakland.  Daniel will be attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, pursuing a career in International Business and Law.  Daniel was accepted into the Young Scholars Program, has served as Senior Class President, been a member of Beyond the Bricks, Allen Temple’s Global Mission and he is a current member of Boy Scout Troop 409.  For fun, Daniel has played on the JV and Varsity Baseball team, Mock Trial Team, and participated in Skyline’s Performing Arts Production.  Additionally, Daniel was the past Junior Ambassador of the Oakland Asian Pacific Children’s Conference in Fukuoka, Japan.  Daniel’s assigned mentor is Lorenzo Hoopes.
Maria Pelayo, Lighthouse Community Charter High School in Oakland. Maria plans to attend U.C. Berkeley and will pursue a career in computer programming.  Maria won the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing.  While attending Lighthouse Community High School, Maria was a member of the Youth Roots Critical Media Production Program, the Oakland Peace Camp Interns, and the Robotics Team.  She was described as one of the top programmers in her Robotics class while simultaneously coordinating and emceeing Youth Roots’ city-wide talent show.  She represented her peer group on student council, fundraised for international causes and participated in a student club focusing on the Japanese language and culture.  She also plays soccer.  Maria’s mentor is Michael Melone.
Maria Robles, Life Academy High School in Oakland.  Maria plans to attend San Francisco State University and has aspirations to become a Nurse or Pediatrician.  She was an intern with FACES for the Future/Children’s Hospital Oakland as a Medical intern where she rotated between six departments within the hospital and provided assistance to medical staff and infant patients.  Maria participated in the Pre-Collegiate Academy at San Francisco State University and hopes to close the gap in the medical field by providing bilingual medical care.  Her honors include the Heart of Life Award, Latino Student Honor Roll, and the Life Academy Boxing Award, in recognition of her participation in the school’s boxing club.  Maria’s mentor is club member Kristina Brouhard.
Members of the Rotary Club of Oakland’s Scholarship Committee include:  Judge Trina Thompson, Chair; Mary Geong, Co-Chair; Wise Allen; Rick Baskin; Barbara Beery; Kristina Brouhard; Mel Caughell; Lorrie Finkel; Lorenzo "Ren" Hoopes; Karen Lee; Michael Melone; Vince Mok and David Scharff
The Rotary Club of Oakland is the third oldest Rotary Club in the world.  It is a large club with a nearly 350 members and 35 working committees.  The club contributes more than $200,000 a year to local schools and community organizations, supports scholarships, mentors secondary school students and sponsors the Enterprise Institute, a three-day business entrepreneurial retreat for local high school students, among many programs.