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placeholder Jubilarians

Salute to our sisters and brothers

As Church growth explodes, parishes can't keep up

Year of Consecrated Life

Bishop Barber
honors jubilarians
with Mass

Aging, the next
frontier for Holy
Family Sisters

Redemptorists fulfill mission of bringing Gospel to the poor

Over time, Mercy Sisters focus
shifted from
education to care

Precious Blood Missionaries celebrating
200th anniversary

New principals welcomed
at diocesan
elementary schools

Father Sullivan joins BOD as religion teacher, chaplain

Going back to
school with FACE

Holy Names
students inspired
at Youth Justice

Leadership changes
at Berkeley's School
of Applied Theology

Adoration gives
people a time to
contemplate God

Catholics@Work unveils 2015-16 speaker series

Apply now for grants
to feed hungry


• Rev. Austin
Conterno, SDB

• Sister Marian
Arroyo, SHF

St. Elizabeth golf tournament part of
the Lema legacy

St. Anne's wraps up
50th year events

Vailankanni festival
coming up

St. Patrick's Seminary
plans annual gala

Chautauqua focuses on Mary

placeholder August 10, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
Going back to school with FACE

When school starts later this month at Catholic campuses in the Diocese of Oakland, more than 700 students are heading back with a little help from their friends.

Family Aid Catholic Education — FACE — expects to be awarding tuition-assistance grants to 722 students in the 2015-16 year, said Erik Lehto, interim director. Of these, 425 elementary school students will receive $1,750 in aid, while 297 high school students will receive $3,050 in aid.

Sofia Ascencio

The number of students is up from the previous school year, when 680 students received FACE grants.

In addition to the students heading off to kindergarten through 12th grade, FACE has had a major role in some very special back to schools this month and next.

Of the 75 members of the Class of 2015 who received FACE grants, 95 percent are continuing to two- or four-year colleges and universities. Among the schools the students will be attending are the University of California, Berkeley; UCLA; Howard University; Saint Mary's College; Holy Names University; and the University of Notre Dame.

Sofia Ascencio, a graduate of Holy Names High School, is heading to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, a liberal arts college as renowned for its academic excellence as it is for its commitment to community engagement.

"Our core values are internationalism and multiculturalism," said Benjamin Kaufman, a senior who works in the college's admissions office.

Those core values attracted Ascencio. "I was looking for a school that was international," she said, seeking "diversity — culturally, economically and racially — in a small liberal arts college."

She hopes to explore her many interests, which include journalism, art and perhaps law, at the university. She is also going to play volleyball.

Macalester's location, she said, "offers a lot of opportunity to work with kids. There are lots of schools in the area."

Many Macalester students spend time working with children in underserved areas, Kaufman said.

Volunteer work is not new for Ascencio, who worked in the emergency room of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland during her high school years.

At Holy Names, she was a member of the Achieve program, a scholarship program that prepares its scholars for leadership, through academic support, cultural enrichment and community service.

Over the years, her education has received financial assistance from FACE.

"Without that support, I would not be where I am today," she said as she prepared to leave for college later this month. "I'm very, very grateful.

It's nice to know a lot of people are rooting for me and wanting me to do well."

Nearly half of the college-bound FACE recipients come from Oakland or Richmond. More than half identify as Latino and one-fifth as African-American, Lehto said.

FACE is funded largely by an annual gala at which students tell donors of their experiences. Additional funding comes from foundations, including $600,000 from the Crescent Porter Hale Foundation, and generous donors.

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