An overlooked segment of young people in our community needs our support to change the trajectory of their lives.  Assistance League® of Greater Placer scholarship recipients are from alternative high schools, schools primarily for at-risk students who have experienced life trauma and are classified as non-traditional students. They may have physical or mental disabilities, have failed in a traditional high school, have limited family support, and need adult support and encouragement. With our intervention, which includes mentoring as well as financial assistance to pursue higher education or vocational training, their odds of achieving academic success and employment increase dramatically.

The Scholarship Program was started in 2004 because of research done with the Placer County Office of Education showing that there were no organizations offering scholarships to students from continuation schools or alternative high schools.  Originally, a one-time scholarship was offered to one or two students per year. In 2015, the scholarship committee realized students needed ongoing financial support as well as mentoring to increase the possibility of success. At that point we began offering renewable scholarships and increased mentor contact with students. The mentoring aspect of the scholarship program is what sets us apart from other programs in Placer County.

Program Successes:

We currently have 13 students in our program who are working towards vocational certificates or degrees in nursing, court reporting, electrician training, cosmetology, interior design, teaching, photojournalism, forensic science, and pharmacy. Active mentoring by Scholarship Committee members has dramatically increased the likelihood of success for these students.  In June 2020, two students from our program will graduate from American River College and one will complete training for becoming an electrician.






We were so very pleased to celebrate four students who graduated this spring:

Rebecca Estrada graduated from Butte College with an AA in Social and Behavioral Science and an AA in Anthropology and has transferred to Chico State.

Vanessa Pohley graduated with Honors from Sierra College with a teaching certificate and an AA in both Business Administration and Business Accounting. Vanessa plans to continue at a four year college in the near future.

Mitchell Iwahiro graduated from UC Davis in three years with a BA in Community and Regional Development in Public Planning. He is now in a graduate program at UC Davis.

Laura Spitzer graduated from Sierra College with an AS in Social and Behavioral Science and an AS in Natural Sciences. She is applying for admission to nursing programs.

The pictures below showcase all the recipients who received Assistance League Scholarships for Fall 2019. We were honored to present scholarships to 17 new recipients, each of whom were awarded $1,000, applied to their post-secondary tuition expenses for the first semester.  In addition, 4 of our ongoing recipients received $1,000 in the fall to continue their studies.  Each recipient in the program is eligible to receive $250-$1,000 scholarship each semester as long as they maintain academic eligibility standards and maintain contact with the ALGP scholarship mentor.


In 2018 the Scholarship Committee awarded seven scholarships! Scholarship recipients include Zoey Hutchison from Confluence High School in Auburn, Angel Mendoza from Koinonia Family Services in Loomis, Jamie Brooks, and Tiffany Perera from Victory High School in Rocklin, Emily Smith, and Janette Ramirez from Adelante High School in Roseville, and Abigail Gonzalez from Independence High School in Roseville. In addition, we continue to support seven students who have been awarded scholarships in previous years.  All of the above students are attending community colleges and four-year colleges. Their interests are wide-ranging and include child psychology, environmental science, nursing, teaching, interior design, and business. Education is the key to success in many career pathways, and Assistance League of Greater Placer is committed to providing opportunities for students from alternative high schools so that they may continue their education and find successful careers.


In 2017 we awarded two scholarships to seniors from Chana High School, Auburn, and Independence High School, Roseville.  In addition, we continue to support eight students attending vocational training programs and institutions of higher education who had been awarded scholarships in previous years.  Students are attending community colleges, four-year colleges, and vocational training programs such as medical assisting and court reporting.  Their interests are wide-ranging and include interior design, early childhood education, dental hygiene, and ultrasound technology.  Education is the key to success in many career pathways, and Assistance League of Greater Placer is committed to providing opportunities for students from alternative high schools to continue their education.

2017 Chana High School Graduation

2017 Independence High School Graduation

2016 Koinonea Graduation


2016 Adelante Graduation


Several Scholarship Committee members attended 4 different 2016 graduations to award 5 scholarships.  When they heard some of the stories about the students it highlighted how important the scholarship program can be to helping them go on for further education and turn their lives around.

2016 Independence High School Graduation

 Scholarship Committee member Betsy Katz with Graduate Mitchell Iwahari.