Education: The Gift That Changes Lives | Community

The SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Scholarship Endowment Program provides selected students with $3,000 per year for four-year programs and $1,500 per year for community college and trade school programs. What’s unique about this program is that each donation lasts forever, as only the fund’s earnings are used for scholarships. In this way, each donation continues to help students for generations to come. Research tells us that children raised in poverty are 70 percent more likely to raise their own children in poverty. For these children in particular, a gift of education not only changes the life of the recipient, but most often his or her children and grandchildren as well.

Scholarship students are carefully selected by a team of SBCO volunteers based on six criteria: financial need, community service, letters of reference, grades, a written essay and an interview with the selection team.

Angelita Casillas earned an SBCO scholarship and is currently attending the University of Arizona. She graduated first in her high school class with a 4.0 grade point average, served as Secretary of the Student Council and Co-Secretary of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. She also volunteered with the Tri-Community League and the Pinal County Youth Reading Program.

“It is a great honor to have received the SBCO Scholarship,” Angelita said. “Since I began searching for colleges, the prices have always scared me. My family does their best to support my brothers and me… so, the finances of college have always been on my mind. With the help of SBCO, this scholarship allows me to follow my goal of becoming a veterinarian. I do not have to worry about the expense of college now that I have the support of the SBCO Scholarship. I cannot express how much this scholarship will help me in my new journey. Thanks to SBCO, I’ll be able to focus on my studies and do not have to stress over the costs of being a college student.”

If you would like to support students such as Angelita, consider making a donation to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund by including the fund as a beneficiary in your trust or estate plan. Another option, for those over 71 years of age, is to reduce your federal income tax liability by asking your financial institution to forward a portion of your mandated IRA distributions directly to the SBCO Scholarship Endowment Fund. A third option is to simply write a check. The minimum donation is $5,000. Always check with your financial advisor about possible tax benefits.

Remember, a gift of education is a gift that lasts forever.

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