Longtime Donors Endow Scholarship for CAMP Students
By Brian Hiro
Last fall, Cal State San Marcos honored civil rights icon Dolores Huerta by naming in her honor the office in the Extended Learning building for the College Assistance Migrant Program, better known as CAMP.
Now, staunch supporters of CSUSM since its very beginning are honoring Huerta and boosting CAMP in a different way.
Ann Hunter-Welborn, a member of the University Council before CSUSM was even founded, and her husband, David Welborn, have donated $26,000 to the university to establish the Dolores Huerta endowed scholarship. Each year, starting this fall, one student in CAMP, which helps students from migrant and seasonal farmworker backgrounds succeed in the transition to college, will receive a $1,000 scholarship to assist them in their education.
“I think it’s an important recognition of the contribution that migrants make to our whole society and our responsibility to do some small thing to make their lives easier,” Hunter-Welborn said.
Of the total gift, $1,000 will fund the first scholarship in fall 2021 while the remaining $25,000 will launch the endowed scholarship. The donation is being timed in connection with the second annual One CSUSM day on May 4. One CSUSM is a day of giving that started last year to deliver badly needed aid to students at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the focus of the campaign is scholarships.
The gift by Hunter-Welborn and her husband is the outgrowth of a meeting she had this spring with CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt in which they connected over the idea of access to higher education, especially among underrepresented groups.
“Access has always been a big issue, and I think, in many ways, it’s become a bigger issue in the last year because of the stress that everybody is living under and graduating seniors not getting much of a senior year,” Hunter-Welborn said. “It just seemed like a good time to do it and a good counterpart to the César Chávez recognition on campus.”
The news that CAMP is the target of this endowed scholarship came as music to the ears of Minerva Gonzalez, the CAMP principal investigator who directed the program at CSUSM for 16 years before handing over the reins to Maria Venegas Escobedo in 2018. Gonzalez said the gift will allow CAMP to serve the needs of future students who aren’t covered either by the program or financial aid.
“CAMP students are all first generation, low income, and face so many personal, academic and financial challenges,” Gonzalez said. “Yet they are the most resilient and determined students. This endowment will be a much-needed resource that will support their educational path toward graduation.
“It is with our deepest appreciation that Ann Hunter-Welborn and her husband have blessed us with their generosity.”
“I am grateful that CSUSM has been such a successful university and has grown to be such an important part of the North County community and beyond,” Hunter-Welborn said.
Brian Hiro, Communications Specialist
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