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New face at FACE preparing for gala

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placeholder January 18, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Catholic Schools Week

New face at FACE preparing for gala

Lauren Seeno knows the value of Catholic education.

Not long after entering Carondelet High School as a sophomore, Seeno said, she knew: "This is where I need to be."

"Pot of Gold"
When: March 12
Where: Scott's Seafood,
Jack London Square, Oakland
"I fully believe in Catholic education," she said. "I was able to benefit from it. I went from being an OK student to really liking school."

As the new executive director of FACE — Family Aid Catholic Education— for the Diocese of Oakland, Seeno hopes to be able to offer the means to attend Catholic schools to children who might not otherwise have that opportunity.

Seeno was the unanimous choice of the search committee appointed by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ.

"She brings energy, enthusiasm, experience and an engaging personality to the position," said Ken Hokenson, executive director of the Office for Mission Advancement.

At Carondelet, Seeno recalled, she was not a statistic. She was a student who got the extra help with math when she needed it. "The teachers care more," she said.

Seeno continued her education at Regis University, a Jesuit school in Denver, before transferring to Saint Mary's College of California, where she graduated with her bachelor's degree.

"The Bay Area is a hard place to leave," said Seeno, who was born and raised in Walnut Creek.

She began her career — as "temporary help" — at the Community Youth Center in Concord, which provides sports activities for children whose families might not be able to afford them otherwise.

Seeno said she liked putting on the fundraising events for the center, which led to a position as advancement events coordinator at De La Salle High School in Concord, right across the street from where she went to high school.

She began her work with FACE, as associate director of Catholic schools, in mid-December. In the latter role, she will assist the urban Catholic schools in their fundraising efforts, as well as offer assistance to other schools that request it.

For the moment, however, Seeno's attention is focused firmly on the annual FACE Gala, the primary fundraising event for Family Aid Catholic Education, which is scheduled for March 12 at Scott's Seafood at Jack London Square in Oakland.

With a date so close to St. Patrick's Day, the gala's theme will be "Pot of Gold." Seeno and the FACE volunteers are welcoming donations of prizes for live and silent auctions at the gala. Contact FACE@oakdiocese.org, or Seeno at lseeno@oakdiocese.org or 510-628-2169.

Gala attendees will have the opportunity to meet some of the young scholars, who are being invited to serve as greeters and raffle helpers. A student speaker will talk about how FACE has contributed to the student's success.

March 16 is the deadline for families applying for funding from FACE for the 2016-17 school year. In the 2015-2016 school year, more than 700 students received assistance. The 425 elementary school students are receiving $1,750 each in aid, while each of the 297 high school students are receiving $3,050 in aid.

In addition to the annual gala, FACE is funded by grants and individual donations.

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