The Project EGO (“Exploring Growth Opportunities”) program is designed to help high school students in danger of not graduating, to succeed in their educational and life goals. Some have financial, emotional, and/or family problems distracting them from achievement. They are recommended by their high school counselors and must attend regular meetings with good attendance and fulfillment of tasks including obtaining recommendations, completing a resume, and demonstrating job-interview skills and ability to speak before a group. They have career counseling and are able to focus on long-term planning and develop their self-confidence. The program is supported by the Norris Foundation and Rowena Schaben and other donors.
A slideshow was presented of their physical activities on the UC Irvine campus, designed to develop teamwork and self-confidence. They were shown climbing the tower and being suspended by cables, where they overcame their fears and learned to depend on each other for support. One of the students, Joseph Lin, accompanied the presentation with a solo violin performance for us.
17 of the students survived the program this year, with 10 having perfect attendance. Each one was introduced with a story of personal struggles and achievements, and then spoke to our group about these experiences, and received a certificate of completion and a grant to help with their higher educational expenses. The students and their awards this year were:
Stephen Andrus, $2000; Hachem Awad, $1000; Lauren Axberg, $1800; Kevin Cavender, $1500; Dominique Chavez, $1800; Naomi Fosnaugh, $2000; Jacob Funes, $1800; Jeremy Gates, $800; Jeremie Headon, $1500; Ariyana Husain, $1500; Joseph Lin, $2000; Willow Luna, $1800; Brian Martin, $800; Shauna McGinnis, $2000; Eduardo Meraz, $800; Beau Inouye, $1500; Ben Rosa, $1250.
Our congratulations go to these fine promising students, and thanks to their counselors, mentors and program coordinators.