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Press Releases - 2009

CONTACT: Mary Planding,
Director, Marketing & Communications
(831) 479-6158
mary.plandings [at] cabrillo.edu

July 22, 2009

Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Establishes

$20,000 Annual Scholarship Focused on Underprivileged Women
Attending Cabrillo College


APTOS, CA—Despite these economically challenging times, the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation has established an annual $20,000 scholarship to be awarded to highly motivated, economically disadvantaged women who attended Cabrillo College and are transferring to a University of California Campus. Recipients will receive a total of $20,000: $10,000 for their junior year and $10,000 for their senior year.

 “We are so grateful that Peggy and Jack continue to give their financial support to needy Cabrillo students at such a critical time,” declared Cabrillo College President Brian King. “They have been tremendous supporters of underprivileged women at Cabrillo, doing everything they can to give these women the financial help they need to complete their college education. It is an honor and a privilege to be associated with them.”

Stated Jack Baskin, “We strongly believe in giving back to our community. Our 20-year collaboration with Cabrillo College gave us this idea to help working, disadvantaged women get the higher education they need to be successful.”

Peggy Baskin continued, “With the outstanding instructional foundation they receive at Cabrillo, these women will be well prepared to handle the four-year University of California workload they will encounter when they transfer. We are so excited and look forward to watching these wonderful women grow and become our community leaders of tomorrow.”

Jack Baskin is renowned through northern California for his company’s high-quality housing for low- and moderate-income families and the elderly. Peggy Downes-Baskin, Ph.D., is the co-founder of an innovative program, the Cabrillo College Foundation’s Women’s Educational Success, which provides emergency aid to re-entry women attending Cabrillo College. The Baskins’ relationship with Cabrillo has flourished for more than 20 years and includes their support for the Baskin Child Care Center and the Cabrillo Advancement Program.

The first Cabrillo College recipient of the Baskin Foundation Scholarship is Maria del Rosario Fernández-Ortiz. Traversing the Rio Grande with her uncle at the age of four to join her parents, Fernández-Ortiz lived a life of extreme poverty and persevered to complete high school and become a U.S. citizen. As a single mother, Fernández-Ortiz and her prematurely born son, Marcos, struggled to make ends meet. She started at Cabrillo in 2003 at the urging of her supervisor when she was laid off at a non-profit in Watsonville. In 2004, Marcos was diagnosed with ADHD, which delayed Fernández-Ortiz’ own college education. Overcoming many challenges, she graduated with honors in June 2008 from Cabrillo. She has completed transfer requirements and will attend the University of California at Santa Cruz in fall 2009 to major in community studies.

Fernández-Ortiz says, “Because I have survived mental, emotional and physical abuse, I know the continuous challenges many women face because of race, gender and poverty can be overcome. Education is key to our freedom and success. Donors like Peggy and Jack Baskin are making education accessible to those like me—women with fewer advantages who are working hard to improve our lives and families.”

Fernández-Ortiz plans to study public policy issues, learn communication strategies and support people in the community. A community studies degree will prepare her to pursue a career focused on the political and economic empowerment of women in the United States.

For more information on how you can support Cabrillo College students, call Melinda Silverstein, Executive Director, Cabrillo College Foundation, 831-479-6338.

About Cabrillo College
Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers over 70 academic and career technical education programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of proficiency, skills certificates and transfer to 4-year institutions. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.

About Cabrillo College Foundation
The Cabrillo College Foundation was established in 1962 as a private, non-profit organization; its sole mission is to provide support for Cabrillo College, its students and faculty.


About Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers more than 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to four-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.


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