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December 28, 2010 > Funding Hopes and Dreams

Funding Hopes and Dreams

By Simon Wong
Photo by Cameron Stewart, MCHS Multimedia Coordinator

Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward recognizes the demands a private education can place on parents. The ability to pay varies between households but the common denominator is that all have entrusted Moreau with their children's secondary education - a solid academic, social and spiritual foundation that will stand them in good stead at university and beyond.

To that end, Moreau is extremely appreciative of benefactors' generosity without which $1.3M in tuition assistance to needy students (29 percent of the student roll) would have been impossible this past year. These gifts funded academic scholarships, arts and athletics and additional science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, firmly establishing Moreau's pre-eminence in the Bay Area.

Frugality is only part of the story for many households. Difficult circumstances persist and, for some, tragedy strikes. The need for help with tuition has more than doubled in the past two years. This past year saw a 55 percent increase. Such grants range from $1,000 to $12,720 to reduce the cost of tuition by an average of 40 percent.

More than 100 members of the Moreau community attended the second annual Funding Hopes and Dreams Luncheon at the Newark-Fremont Hilton on November 19, 2010, to support their alma mater and welcome special guest speaker Shara-Angelica Jubilado (nŽe Reyes) '02 and keynote speaker United States Treasurer Rosie Rios '83.

"This event's purpose is to keep what is a dream for many, a reality for all. Core to our mission is accessibility for students. If young people in our neighborhood cannot afford to attend our school, then we're not accomplishing our mission and something is very wrong. Funding Hopes and Dreams is about coming together as a community, giving witness to Moreau's impact on people and Christian charity," explained President Terry Lee.

Jubilado participated in many clubs and activities, including Student Government, Yearbook, Football, Swim and Cross-Country, at Moreau and graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting with a minor in Fine Art. She received 10 offers of employment and joined Ernst & Young where she spent three-and-a-half years as an auditor. She is now a Senior Fund Accountant with venture capital firm Sequoia.

Her parents left the Philippines to give their future family more opportunities. Education was the priority. Jubilado's mother worked long hours in the Alameda County Social Services Finance Department; her father worked the graveyard shift as a hotel manager. After work, he would dash home to take the children to school and wake up in the middle of the day to collect them. He hardly slept and never complained.

In Jubilado's Freshman year, her father was was made redundant after 15 years' service. One income could not support the children's education. Rather than remove the children from Moreau, her parents sacrificed their home. The family moved to a 1,000 sq. ft. apartment next to railroad tracks; the building shook whenever a train passed. The family of seven lived on top of each other and sometimes Jubilado studied by flashlight in the car for peace and quiet.

Although difficult, it was what her parents could afford at the time and she was thankful. The apartment was close to school, so they walked whenever they did not need a ride, while her father looked for work. Selflessly, her parents occupied the smallest room, which overlooked the railroad tracks, and gave the children the larger ones telling them 'you have more things.' She knew they didn't want them to be reminded of their circumstances or to be embarrassed when friends visited.

Jubilado vowed quietly to help. Aged 14, she worked her way through the telephone directory and landed a retail job. She and her older sister are the same size, so shared their wardrobe. If she needed new clothes, she went to thrift stores. Her parents scotched her offer to transfer to public high school.

"My parents and generous individuals like you enabled me and my siblings to remain at Moreau. Not only did I receive financial aid, I was given a chance to fulfill my parents' dreams for their children. I immersed myself in my studies and school life and won a 75 percent merit scholarship to the University of San Francisco. The drive fostered at Moreau helped me graduate in the top 10 percent of my class and business school. I still marvel at the sacrifice and generosity of each of the strangers who believed in me and gave me a chance to succeed. I can't thank you enough," said Jubilado appreciatively.

Rios and her eight siblings attended St. Clements Catholic School and Moreau. Rios' mother had to raise her children as a single parent and sacrificed much on their behalf, placing great store by a Catholic education. Both academic excellence and spiritual nourishment are important to her. The family lived near Moreau and moved every two years to cheaper accommodation. While a Freshman, Rios began working full-time for the Alameda County Library System and would return home late at night and complete her homework in the early hours.

"Moreau impressed upon me the importance of public service and taught me emotional intelligence - respect and empathy," explained Rios.

She earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Literature from Harvard then served as Manager of Union City's Redevelopment Agency, Development Specialist for the City of San Leandro, Economic Development Director for the City of Fremont, Director of Redevelopment and Economic Development for the City of Oakland and as Managing Director of Investments for real estate management firm MacFarlane Partners before her 2009 appointment as Treasurer of the United States.

"Right after the November 2008 election, I was invited to serve on the Treasury-Federal Reserve Transition Team and took an official leave of absence from MacFarlane Partners. On returning to the Bay Area in February 2009, I received a call informing me I was one of seven people [of the 23 team members] recommended for nomination to the Treasury.

Initially, I declined. I didn't want to uproot my family or leave my siblings and mother and was very happy with my job. However, I think there was something bigger than me - my experiences in economic development, real estate and investment management had converged. So, I went through the vetting process, was nominated in May and confirmed by the Senate in July 2009. Though I miss my family, I've no regrets. It was the right choice.

With direct oversight of the US Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Fort Knox, a workforce of approximately 4,000 employees and a $4.5 billion budget, Rios serves as a senior advisor and represents the Treasury on behalf of the Secretary for community development and public engagement and is a key liaison with the Federal Reserve.

"Education is vital. Investment in human capital is the best we can make. Tuition assistance is essential to continue that investment. Parents aren't the only ones who sacrifice. We all did and so do the donors who make tuition assistance possible. My teenage years were a journey of commitment and discipline; there was nothing fun or easy about them but Moreau helped form me and I have created lasting friendships with many of my contemporaries. I wouldn't trade a thing. Those experiences have led to this moment," concluded Rios.

"Much of the 55 percent year-on-year increase in the need for tuition assistance from $850,000 to $1.3M is attributable to loss of jobs. Some families are losing their homes to foreclosure. There is a growing need for assistance and opportunities for large scholarships are shifting. All funds raised at this event will go right back to the students, explained Principal Lauren Lek. "Sponsors Fremont Bank Foundation, the Raimondi Family and Audio Visual Techniques underwrote the entire cost of the luncheon. Two anonymous donors pledged to match the first $30,000 raised," she added. "There are various ways to give - cash, stocks or securities, matching corporate gifts, gifts-in-kind and planned gifts.

"We believe anyone who wants a rigorous, four-year college-preparatory Catholic education should have it but how do you make it accessible and affordable for families who can't pay? Funding Hopes and Dreams is part of our effort towards that goal," Lek concluded.

For more information, contact Kristin Delaney-Wiggins, Director of Institutional Advancement, at (510) 881-4305 or KWiggins@MoreauCatholic.org

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