Community Scholarship Foundation Honors Star Students

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
The Community Scholarship Foundation award recipients celebrated Monday at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club with members of the organization, including (front row, from left) Evan Chersi, Riana Lui, Paige Grande, Paige Baker, Charis Gee, Samantha Gilmore, John Lee and Malley Musso. Back: Mary Emily Myers, Analily Park, Rose Linda Gonzales, Karen Mathison, Larry Bryant, Michelle Strassburg, Martha Burns, Sheri Creger and Phil Wyatt.

A class of five joined an esteemed list of local scholars who’ve been celebrated and supported by the Community Scholarship Foundation of La Cañada Flintridge.
Since 1964, the volunteer organization has awarded more than $1 million in scholarship money to help high school seniors fulfill their dreams, whether those aspirations require training at a college, university or technical school.
This year, the five La Cañada Flintridge seniors who were selected — Steven Bertram, Samantha Gilmore, Paige Grande, Riana Lui and Malley Musso — each received $4,500 to pursue their education.
Two awardees received special Memorial Scholarships: Lui, a La Cañada High School graduate, received her scholarship in memory of longtime LCF volunteers Don and Jo Seastrom; and Steven Bertram, a graduate of Hillside School and Learning Center, received his scholarship in memory of 2nd Lt. Todd Bryant, who was killed in Iraq in 2003.
Larry Bryant, Todd’s father, was at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club to congratulate the recipients alongside foundation members.
“It’s a good feeling because some of the best kids in La Cañada Flintridge compete for the scholarships,” said Larry Bryant, who said he found it fitting that Bertram is poised to study film or writing at Cal State Northridge because Todd Bryant also was passionate about filmmaking.
“It’s our honor,” said Karen Mathison, the foundation’s president. “We cannot give enough honor and respect to the brave men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. We’re proud in La Cañada Flintridge to be associated with the Bryant family.”
They’re proud, also, to be associated with the other scholarship winners, including 10 who reapplied and received a $1,000 renewing award this year.
“This kind of summarizes the community because La Cañada Flintridge and the surrounding areas. It’s a small community, but it’s a very supportive community,” said Lui, who plans to pursue music therapy and go to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
“These kinds of scholarships show that kind of support and how we’re all willing to help each other succeed.”
Evan Chersi, who received a renewed scholarship to continue pursuing a communications master’s degree at USC, credits the community with laying the groundwork for his educational endeavors.
“To me, this was a perfect place to start, where I developed the educational values and the personal character that’s gotten me to where I am.”
The other renewing scholarship winners include Paige Baker, Samantha Bernardo, Alexandra Dreyfuss, Charis Gee, John Lee, Eurie Nam, Joe Reilly, Megan Reilly, Michael Reilly and Freya Strasburg.
For more information about the Community Scholarship Foundation, call (818) 952-6068.

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