The Ose family of Sacramento will grant $1,000 awards to selected graduating seniors at 21 public high schools this spring, part of a 10-year commitment to recognize students who perform community service.
The Sacramento Region Community Foundation made the announcement of the Ose Family Community Service Award on Wednesday at Rio Americano High School.
In a press release, Melena and Enlow Ose said the goal of the awards is to encourage volunteerism and community service in the Sacramento region. The couple have been in business in Sacramento since 1958 as Ose and Associates, Ose Properties Inc. and Melenco Inc.
“It is our family’s privilege to reward the future leaders in our region for their community service,” the couple said in a joint statement.
Each of the 21 traditional public high schools in the Elk Grove, Folsom Cordova and San Juan unified school districts will select one award recipient in the spring semester each year, beginning this year.
The selected seniors will be awarded $1,000 to cover tuition, fees or book costs at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university.
Recipients must have demonstrated exceptional community service by volunteering at nonprofit groups in the Sacramento region during their sophomore, junior and senior years. The students must also have good character, be good citizens and hold a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
Leaders of the three districts thanked the Ose family for setting up the scholarships.
“This award not only encourages students to serve our local community, but will have a wonderfully positive effect on supplementing costs for first-year college students,” said Steven Ladd, superintendent of Elk Grove Unified.
Kent Kern, interim superintendent of San Juan, said the award “will highlight the importance of giving back.” Janie Sorg, assistant superintendent of Folsom Cordova, noted that in an age of rising tuition costs, the award will act as an incentive to volunteer.
The Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which is managing the award for the Ose family, has about 40 different scholarships covering a variety of students approaching different types of degrees. The Ose award, unlike others, does not require a very high grade point average.
“The Ose Family Community Service Award is really important to us because it is not only for high academic achievers,” said Shirlee Tully, chief marketing and development officer for the foundation. “It is for those with good character and good citizenship who care about their community.”
Tully said the award is valuable because it is also available to community college students. The award could be a great help in buying books, she said.
All four of the Oses’ children graduated from Rio Americano High School. One of them, Republican Doug Ose, is challenging Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in the 7th Congressional District, which takes in much of the territory encompassed by the three districts whose students will benefit from the Ose Family Community Service Awards.
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.