PY OCBF Virtual Scholarship Ceremony

A unique yet very special year for Project Youth OCBF’s Scholarship Ceremony honoring the 2020 Higher Education Mentoring & Project SELF Students

“Physically distant yet together in all ways that matter”

  • Anthony Modarelli III, Associate Board President & Higher Education Mentoring Program and Project SELF Scholarship Ceremony Moderator
  • Alejandra Diaz, Higher Education Mentoring Program Coordinator on Zoom listening to Mark Erickson PY OCBF President
  • Nancy Garcia, PY OCBF Associate Director, listening to Dr. Angela Suarez’s inspiring keynote

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Project Youth OCBF hosted their first ZOOM Scholarship Ceremony to present thirty-five (35) students with college scholarships. Twenty-five (25) Higher Education Mentoring Program Graduates and ten (10) Project SELF Interns.

The moderator for the night was PY OCBF’s Associate Board President Anthony Modarelli III. He was an amazing host keeping all entertained and smoothly introducing all presenters. Anthony welcomed everyone and shared how the entire Associate Board provides support for these valuable educational programs through fundraising efforts and personal support. Mark Erickson, PY OCBF President, provided his own inspirational thoughts and thanked all supporters and donors who make these programs such a success. Mark recognized parents for all their support of their sons and daughters and congratulated all 2020 students.

We heard from Higher Education Mentoring Program Chairs Carolyn McKitterick and Miguel Prietto and from Project SELF Chair Eric Traut. All expressed the value of these programs and how fantastic the participants were. An overview was given of both programs and how hard all students worked to be successful. All chairs were excited to recognize the student’s achievements.

We had the distinct honor of hearing from Dr. Angela Suarez, Orange Coast College President. Dr. Suarez shared her personal narrative as an immigrant and first-genera on college student, sharing her pursuit of education and her current and past work in education. She shared insight on her family’s involvement with her educational path and why she is so passionate about education as a choice for all. She was sincere, inspirational and a delight to get to know. We are truly grateful Dr. Suarez joined our celebration.

Next, we heard from two Higher Education Mentoring Program Students Kate Charco, Segerstrom High School Graduate and University of Berkeley incoming Freshman and Gustavo Moreno, Santa Ana High School Graduate and California State University, Los Angeles incoming Freshman. Both shared their personal stories and how the Higher Education Mentoring Program helped them on their educational journeys. Lastly, we heard from Gustavo’s father, Gustavo Moreno Sr., who in Spanish shared how proud he is of his son, tearing up with so much pride it was hard for him to continue speaking with all that was in his heart. But without missing a beat Gustavo Jr. took over reading what his dad had so passionately wrote so we did not miss a word. Anthony thanked all our speakers for sharing their stories and did a shout out to Luciano Borjas our first HEM student to a end the United States Military Academy at WestPoint and Erick Lopez our first HEM student to a end Yale University. Luciano and Erick were 2019 Project SELF interns, Luciano at Rizzo Law Firm and Erick at Savills.

Project Youth OCBF Associate Director Nancy Garcia read all twenty-five Higher Education Mentoring Program student names as their photo, scholarship donor, high school and college a ending was displayed on screen for all to see. The Honorable Nancy Zeltzer presented three Project SELF Scholarships donated by Robert Banyard Inn of Court and Deirdre Kelly OCBA

Charitable Fund President presented seven scholarships on behalf of the OCBA Charitable Fund. Project SELF student photos, law firm names and their high school was displayed on screen for all to see.

Anthony congratulated all students and ended the ZOOM session with a very special video featuring the Higher Education Mentoring Program Class of 2020 with music by Rascal Flats … My Wish for You… We echo the words of Rascal Flats – “Our wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to be – your dreams stay big your worries stay small and you never need to carry more than you can hold……and while you are out there we hope you know people love you! May all your dreams stay BIG!”

Thank you
Higher Education Mentoring Program Chairs
Carolyn C. McKitterick, Esq.
Miguel P. Prietto, Esq.

HEM Donors
The Jeffery M. Carlton Foundation
The Green Foundation
The Union Bank Foundation
State Street Foundation
TK Foundation
Project Youth OCBF Associate Board
Wells Fargo

Endowed Scholarships
John & Betty Altstadt
Bryan Cameron
Carolyn McKitterick
Maria Stearns

Project SELF Donors
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn
Robert Banyard Inn of Court
Crowell & Morning LLP
DiMarco | Araujo |Montevideo
Dorsey & Whtney, LLP
Greenberg Gross LLP
Madison Law APC
Minyard Morris
Newmeyer & Dilion LLP
OCBA Charitable Fund
Wells Fargo

HEM Scholarship Donors
Alan & Karen Brutman
Brian & Dianne Daucher
Mark & Cathy Erickson
Dennis & Mary Ghan
Bill & Patricia Grenner
John & Susie Hurlbut
Maria Solis Martinez
PY OCBF Associate Board (Men & Women)
Carolyn McKitterick
McKitterick Family Scholarship
Daniel Robinson “Mathew Davies” Scholarship
Jaritt & Erin Ruff
Ed & Regina Schlatter
Jackson Tidus
Jim & Linda Skorheim
Jon & Leslie Skorheim
Sean Tiner
Eric Traut
Judicate West

Project SELF Chairs
Dennis W. Ghan, Esq.
Daniel A. Sasse, Esq.
Eric V. Traut, Esq.