We won’t know the full impact of the pandemic on people’s livelihoods for some time, but as unemployment numbers rise and food giveaway lines lengthen, turning a blind eye is not an option.
With basic needs top of mind, many people’s quests for career advancement and education attainment came to a screeching halt this year. A new vocational scholarship program is working to change that for families in South Los Angeles.
Two hundred vocational scholarships averaging $5,000 each will be awarded to South L.A. residents experiencing severe financial distress during the global health pandemic. These COVID Retraining & Recovery (CORE) Fund scholarships are part of an education and workforce development program funded through a $1 million grant from the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, Jimmy Iovine, Marc and Ashley Merrill and others.
Sasha Tulanda, a Bright Star School alumna, is one of the first CORE scholarship recipients to receive an award for a veterinary program. Because of the pandemic, she was furloughed. She then had to drop out of school to help her mother care for her youngest sister, who has autism. SoLA I Can Foundation, the nonprofit affiliate of SoLA Impact committed to ending intergenerational poverty, and Bright Star Schools partnered to award Tulanda a SoLA I CAN technical program scholarship. The award will provide her with an opportunity to achieve her dream of becoming a veterinary assistant. She’ll complete the program within a year.
“I’m so excited about this opportunity!” says Tulanda. “It’s been a tough year with lots of stressors – from being furloughed to having to drop out of school. This scholarship will support my passion for veterinary medicine. I can’t give up!”
At the press time, about 100 scholarships were still available for South L.A. residents who meet the award criteria. Scholarships will be awarded through the end of January. For further details and to apply, visit www.sola-resources.com/apply-to-core-scholarship.