two years at a California community college. If academic goals
continue to be met, students transferring to a public university
within California will receive $2,500 each for their third and
fourth years – a total gift of $7,000.
For Back and Yu, it’s a gift that has truly made a profound difference.
Following her graduation, Yu successfully applied to the
City College of San Francisco, where she is now a sophomore.
If all goes as planned, she hopes to transfer to the University
of California at Berkeley to major in engineering and inter-
national business. She developed the personal motto: “Build
my self confidence, challenge myself, and always fight for
what I believe in.”
Back decided that she wanted to help children, and iden-
tified a career as a pediatrics nurse or doctor as her goal. In
addition to her Investment in Success scholarship, she
received an award from the Hemet Valley Hospital Auxiliary
in support of her goal. She is now attending California State
University, Fullerton and plans to graduate in 2017 with a
bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Brandt considers Back’s choice of a nursing career to be an
especially wise one, as there is always a demand for nurses. He
was impressed with her enthusiasm and noted that the scholar-
ship program “had a phenomenal impact on her and her family.
It enabled her to go directly to a four-year school, to live on
her own, and to have those life-changing experiences that such
an opportunity provides. She still works full-time while going
to school full-time, but that just shows her determination. She
continues to succeed.”
Brandt’s experience is reminiscent of Weiss’ words at the
program’s initiation: “The litmus test for everything we do
in this plan is, ‘Will this make a profound difference in the
lives of kids?’”
From the responses the Foundation has received from the
more than 80 families who have benefitted from this pro-
gram – combined with the pride felt by PSAC members and their
fellow Masons statewide – it seems clear that this initiative has
truly been, and will continue to be, a wise investment.
Due to budgetary limitations, not
every scholarship applicant receives an
award; however, Brandt notes that the
interviewing teams “were very impressed
with the students that GLOW sent to be
interviewed. GLOW really goes after the
high-needs kids – which is good. Those
are the ones who need assistance most.”
According to McNee, a similar excitement was at play with the committee
members from the eight lodges participating in his council. “They’d tell me, ‘Hey I
heard through the grapevine that the kids
from the high school in my district are very
excited by the program,’” McNee says. He
and Brandt hope to expand lodge participation throughout their regions with the goal
of increasing both the number of students
and Masons involved.
INVESTMENT IN SUCCESS AT WORK
An Investment in Success scholarship typically provides $1,000 for each of the first
MARK MCNEE, JUNIOR WARDEN,
PHOENIX LODGE NO. 144, AND WENWEN YU