Roseville, Calif. – College students dealing with financial hardships and life-changing challenges will be honored for their accomplishments, commitment and hard work with $99,000 in scholarships.
The JB Brown Fund, a philanthropic partnership between USA Properties Fund Inc. and LifeSTEPS, has awarded 37 college students the much-appreciated and needed scholarships. Some of the college students along with families and seniors who have received financial assistance from the organization will be available during the JB Brown Fund Open House from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Rocklin Event Center, 2650 Sunset Blvd.
Many of the students, who attend community colleges and four-year universities, have endured numerous issues, from the death of a family member to being the victim of a violent crime.
But with assistance from the JB Brown Fund, the college students can build a better future for themselves and their families.
“We’re committed to helping people achieve their dreams, and a college education serves as an excellent foundation for their future,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties. “A good education can open many doors and change lives.”
The JB Brown Fund raised a record $167,600 during the past year, with almost 60 percent of the dollars reserved for college scholarships. The fund has issued 117 college scholarships since the program started in 2011.
The college scholarship recipients live in affordable family communities, from the Sacramento region to Southern California, owned and managed by USA Properties and where LifeSTEPS provides social services to residents.
“Many of these students are faced with extraordinary circumstances and must overcome incredible challenges,” said LifeSTEPS Executive Director Beth Southorn. “Our commitment, through these scholarships, is a way of expressing our support and belief that they can accomplish their goals. It’s certainly not easy for any of them, but the scholarships ease some of the financial burden.”
USA Properties’ Brown and Southorn of LifeSTEPS established the JB Brown Fund during a drive from the Burbank airport to a meeting in Southern California in 2011.
“The JB Brown Fund is about helping people achieve their dreams or deal with an unexpected financial hardship,” Brown said. The JB Brown Fund is named after his late father, who founded USA Properties in Santa Monica in 1981. “My father strongly believed in education, and we want to make sure that goal is available by offering scholarships to many of our residents.”
The scholarships, which range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, make a big difference financially and help students reach their goals. Students can apply for and receive multiple scholarships from the JB Brown Fund while attending school.
College scholarships are the largest piece but only part of the financial assistance available from the JB Brown Fund.
USA Properties community managers and LifeSTEPS counselors identify families and seniors who need financial assistance due to extraordinary circumstances, such as the death of a family member or an unexpected major expense. Families that receive assistance must complete a financial counseling program, encouraging them to cut spending and save money, when possible. The fund has helped 163 families during the past two years.
In addition, the JB Brown provides youth sports scholarships, allowing children to participate in sports. The JB Brown Fund has issued 216 youth sports scholarships during the past two years.
“Children learn so much from participating in sports, from developing leadership skills and self-confidence to teamwork,” Brown said. “It’s also a great way for children to remain active and healthy, and often helps them succeed in the classroom.”
Of course, the financial assistance – from the college to the youth sports scholarships – is only available thanks to generous donations.
More than 100 companies and individuals have donated to the JB Brown Fund during the past year.
The JB Brown Fund has raised almost $464,000 since 2011.
“Sometimes people need a helping hand,” Southorn said. “And when we help each other, we all succeed.”