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Piece of Mind: Local grads set sail for new horizons

With summer upon us, a majority of La Cañada’s social and civic organizations have tied up loose ends, installed new officers for the coming club year and wound up their seasons in preparation of  “going dark” for the summer. Teachers have been busy too, assigning grades, clearing their classrooms of  this year’s projects and saying good-bye to their students.

As is no doubt true in similar communities across our nation, our adult groups share a common goal with our teachers: to help insure the best education possible for our youths. Many organizations hold fundraisers throughout the year and set aside money in order to give a boost — in the form of scholarships — to those who show promise.

Today’s paper carries listings of teens who won scholarships from the La Cañada Thursday Club and from the La Cañada High School PTSA. We’ll keep the “Scholarships” listing going on our Youth pages for any additional information that may come our way, so if your group has also provided educational support but you haven’t yet sent word to the paper, know that we’ll happily accept it and print the names of the young scholars.

Last Thursday, I attended the annual luncheon hosted by the Community Scholarship Foundation, which has been giving financial help to local students since 1964. It was a warm, nurturing event held in Fellowship Hall at La Cañada Congregational Church. Foundation President Wendy Wyatt assured the awardees that the foundation is there to help them succeed and that renewal scholarships will be available.


LCUSD Supt. Jim Stratton and CSF board member Karen Mathison gave inspirational talks centering on how much it had meant for each of them to be scholarship recipients when they were embarking on their lengthy post-high school scholastic voyages.

Both ended up in careers that veered a degree or two from their original interests, and I wondered if the day’s honorees took note of that. The world — even as it grows smaller — is still a vast place, and career possibilities don’t just seem endless, they are. Their parents and community may have helped each of them gain passage on the ship that is higher education, but today’s teens will be charting their individual courses and may travel far and wide before landing in just the right place.

The siren call that entices them today may be silent tomorrow. They will go places they can’t even see from this shoreline; nor, perhaps, can their parents. But of one thing we can be certain: There’s no better launching point than from this community, where education is so highly valued.

Bon voyage to the Class of 2011.


CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the Valley Sun. She can be reached at or