Our Sierra FoodWineArt magazine gave out our annual high-school scholarship award to a Bear River High student on Monday night (congratulations Sarah DeRise), but it was bittersweet as we learned that Nevada Joint Union High School District Scholarship Coordinator Barbara Ross is retiring.
Barbara, who is charming, resourceful and highly knowledgeable, has been a champion for our college-bound students since 2000 — helping them navigate the all-consuming college, financial aid and scholarship process. Barbara also has been an officer in the Rotary Club of Penn Valley, among other volunteer efforts.
I first met Barbara when I headed up the local chapter of the Cal Alumni Association scholarship committee about a decade ago. We worked together on the UC Berkeley scholarship, geared toward incoming Cal freshmen from our local schools.
Later, Barbara helped inspire us to create a scholarship for our business that was geared toward aspiring journalists. We have committed at least $2,000 toward that effort.
Barbara has been the District Scholarship Coordinator since November 2000, according to her Linked-In profile. She also has been responsible for fund development.
I was highly impressed with the scholarship program she helped build — remarkable for a school district of our size. “Welcome to the NJUHSD Scholarship Program,” the website reads. “The entire college, financial aid and scholarship process can be difficult and seemingly overwhelming. This packet will give you suggestions on how to navigate through the senior year more effectively.”
The program goes “wide and deep” across our community, thanks largely to Barbara’s enterprise. Last night, I counted 92 scholarships alone that were awarded to Bear River High students. A list of district scholarships is here.
Thanks Barbara for being a tireless champion of our college-bound students! Her replacement is Kimala Breaux DeSena, a guidance specialist at Nevada Union High who has deep roots in our community.