We are proud to announce that the Kazan Law Foundation helped support the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) in creating several new college scholarships. Through scholarships funded by our firm and others, 45 students were awarded funds for the 2014-15 academic year. EOYDC has provided more than $400,000 over the past 10 years to students.
For the first time, we are sponsoring three scholarships, at $5,000 each. Our three recipients are: Bryce Bell who will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Marisa Jolivette who will attend Cal State East Bay; and Branden Vonderwerth who will attend Nichols College.
The scholarships to this worthwhile organization were presented at EOYDC’s 10th Annual “Something for Everyone” Art, Wine and Jazz Reception. The purpose of this wonderful event was to honor East Oakland students who pursue higher education.
EOYDC does a superb job of providing summer enrichment programs to traditionally underserved populations. For example, this summer in partnership with the African American Male Initiative at Oakland Unified School District, EOYDC helped send fourteen participants, nine high school and five college students, on two-week educational visit to China for cultural, educational, and science related lectures and field studies.
It is no secret that college costs have been skyrocketing as the average person’s income has declined. Yet education remains one of the most powerful ways to help create change on an individual basis. Rates of poverty are closely correlated with an individual’s level of educational attainment: one – third of Oakland residents who did not complete high school live in poverty, compared to only 6% of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to a recent Oakland Youth Indicator Report.
Numerous studies have shown that academic success is linked to individual and societal benefits, from improved employment opportunities, increased earnings, reduced crime, and improved self efficacy. We applaud the efforts of EOYDC in this important endeavor and appreciate Kazan Law partner Gordon Greenwood guiding us in supporting this worthy cause.