Campus: San Francisco State University -- December 8, 2006

SF State receives $1 million for scholarship endowment, high-tech computer lab

Youth for Service gift benefits digital media, music/recording industry certificate programs

San Francisco State University has received a $1 million gift from Youth for Service, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that offered youth job training, vocational education and community resources for more than four decades. The gift will create a scholarship endowment and computer laboratory at the new SF State Downtown Campus when it opens in January.

"This generous gift furthers Youth for Service's longtime commitment to provide alternative educational pathways for disadvantaged youth to achieve success," said Gail Whitaker, dean of the College of Extended Learning. "In addition, the gift allows San Francisco State to continue our efforts toward developing the University's state-of-the-art Institute for Next Generation Internet, which uses emerging computer technology to improve education, employment opportunities and economic development in the Bay Area."

Scholarships will be awarded to students working toward certificates in digital media and music/recording industry in the University's College of Extended Learning. Each scholarship will be up to $2,000 per semester. It is expected that about 12 scholarships per year will be awarded beginning in spring 2007 or later.

The computer lab will be equipped with computers loaded with software for digital animation and video, connected to next-generation, high-speed networks. The lab, which opens in January at SF State's Downtown Campus in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, will honor the memory of Orville Luster, executive director of Youth for Service for 27 years.

Youth for Service, founded in 1957, has ceased its operations and sold its property on 14th Street in the Mission District due to seismic safety issues. The organization's endowment at SF State will carry on its mission of providing educational and job training opportunities for disadvantaged youth, said Thomas R. LeRoux, chair of the Youth for Service board of directors. Eligibility requirements for the scholarships include previous experience in youth media programs, a nomination from a community-based organization, and enrollment in at least three courses per semester.

"San Francisco State University offers unique, cutting-edge programs that motivate and engage disadvantaged youth," LeRoux said. "With this endowment, students will develop skills at the forefront of technology and gain marketable skills." SF State is seeking additional private support for the Youth for Service endowment.

Contact: Matt Itelson, (415) 338-1743 or (415) 338-1665, matti@sfsu.edu.


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