Nonprofit Awards $10,000 in Scholarships to High School Seniors
San Diego County CA— “No one gets where they are going alone.” This was one of the key takeaways that Liz Murray, author of “Breaking Night,” shared during the keynote speech at United Way of San Diego County’s first annual “Changing the Odds Community Breakfast” on May 10 at the San Diego Convention Center.
The first-ever fundraiser for the 97-year-old nonprofit raised $200,000 with the 700 attending community partners, local businesses and allies to help children be successful both inside and outside the classroom. United Way of San Diego County’s Women’s Leadership Council also gave seven scholarships to high school seniors, totaling $10,000.
“We are so grateful to everyone who came out to our breakfast this month,” said President and CEO Laurie Coskey, Ed.D. “United Way is determined to make San Diego a place where children’s dreams do come true.”
The event’s honorary chair was San Diego First Lady Katherine Stuart Faulconer, and KUSI’s Brad Perry emceed the breakfast, leading the charge for onsite fundraising, which totaled $25,000. Notable attendees included Sheriff Bill Gore, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and several members of the San Diego City Council.
The breakfast culminated in Murray’s keynote speech, sharing her journey from homeless teen to Harvard graduate. Murray left hundreds of attendees teary-eyed as she recounted growing up with cocaine-addicted parents in the Bronx, and how she ended up on the streets by age 15. Determined to take charge of her life, Murray finished high school in two years and was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University. Murray stressed the importance of community intervention, helping youth like her so they can succeed and thrive.
More than 50 San Diego companies supported the breakfast, including Champion Sponsor Solar Turbines and Visionary Sponsor SDG&E.