Success Stories

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We are San Diego Education Fund Alumni! Thanks for believing in us SDEF! 

Carlos Rameriz, Ana Lopez Gray and Jacqueline Escobar are all educators with San Diego Unified School Distruct (SDUSD). All three received SDEF multi-year scholarships at the end of their senior high school year at SDUSD. They are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of each and every student!

Thank you for the SDEF support provided to me throughout my undergraduate education at USD. I was able to pay for books and have less financial worries which gave me the freedom to be active in campus opportunities. I was an RA (Resident Assistant) for 3 years, I was part of establishing a chapter of Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity, Inc., and I was able to become a McNair Scholar. I am now going to graduate school in the Master of Arts in Peace and Justice program at USD in the fall of this year. Thank you again for your generosity and help these past few years, you really helped make a difference in my life and helped me enjoy my time as an undergraduate!

- Brandon Kennedy, University of San Diego graduate

I believe that our greatest treasure is our youth and we have a moral obligation to give them the opportunity to have a better world than the one we have. Personally, it is with great gratitude and appreciation that I give back the  support that was given to me as a SDEF Scholar. 

- Carlos Ramirez, SDUSD Teacher, Horton Elementary School

2020 UPDATE: Carlos loves teaching his 3rd Grade students. 

I graduated from Scripps Ranch High School in 1997 and my high school counselor, Jane Morrill, recommended that I apply for a SDEF scholarship and I was thrilled to become a recipient! I received by BA degree and teaching credential from CSUSM and the SDEF scholarship was extremely helpful as a first generation college student with no financial support from home! I can remember clearly the excitement when going to pick-up my stipend which allowed me the opportunity to really focus on studies. In 2013, I received a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling with a PPS credential. While the prospects of a job after graduation seemed meager, I never gave up and with the help of my mentor (Jane Morill, who is still a counselor at SRHS), I got a job as a counselor at the high school I graduated from! Please extend my gratitude to the Board of Directors and anyone else involved in the scholarship, it certainly made a difference for me and I am excited to be in a position to recommend future scholars!

- Justina Estrada, School Counselor, Scripps Ranch High School

I was admitted to the SDEF scholars program my senior year of high school. I had heard about it from my ROP teacher at Patrick Henry, as she encouraged future teachers to apply.  My college experience is due in large part to this scholarship and the counseling that I have received in this program. I have had amazing opportunities from these connections and even spoke on KUSI about the Fund! 

As a result of this scholarship, I received an Education Specialist Credential for Mild/Moderate disabilities and a Master's degree in Education from San Diego State University. 

- Christina Conley, SDUSD Teacher, Rosa Parks Elementary School

2020 UPDATE - Christina is Education Specialist at Rosa Parks Elementary and a SDEF Board member and Scholar mentor. 

I graduated Summa Cum Laude at CSU San Marcos and earned three teaching credentials and a Master's degree in Education in the spring of 2019. SDEF has been a tremendous blessing in my life and in my education. The fact that I was awarded with this scholarship gave me hope and perseverance. For me, school was always a challenge -- I was diagnosed with a learning disability and most teachers did not know how to help me and would look right past me. But one middle school teacher, Mr. Santana, taught me math strategies and encouraged me.  His learning strategies gave me confidence to seek out what I needed which helped me succeed in college. I want to be the teacher that I never had in elementary school and acknowledge and encourage every student.


- Erica Piper, California State University, San Marcos Graduate, Summa Cum Laude /Master's degree in Education with three teaching credentials.  Currently, Erica is teaching special education students at SDUSD Hamilton Elementary School.