Deadline April 15, 2014
Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) was started in 1973 in Oakland and opened a second office in Union City. FAJ’s mission is to build a strong and empowered Filipino community by organizing constituents, developing leaders, providing services, and advocating for policies that promote social and economic justice and equity.
The Soledad Fernandez Scholarship is a philanthropic project of one of FAJ’s founders, Cora Tellez. The $5,000 scholarship is a project of the Tellez family who were inspired by Soledad Fernandez’s “zest for life and love for her family” among other qualities. Soledad provided loving care for Cora and Pablo’s infant son for which the Tellez family is eternally grateful.
Soledad (“Tita” to the Tellez family) came to America after World War II with three young children. She was joining her husband who preceded her to the United States. Her excitement at finally joining her husband and starting a new life together was short-lived. A month after her arrival, her husband died, making her the sole breadwinner for her family.
While college-educated with a degree in teaching, Tita was unable to find work in her profession. She finally found employment as a cafeteria worker at Treasure Island. There, she worked hard, made many friends, and with her earnings, managed to support her family, buy a house, and send all three children to college.
Tita was not one to dwell on her personal sacrifices or the hardships she faced. Her gentle smile said it all – persevere and transcended whatever hardships Life presented her. Her faith in her self and the universe made her a pillar of strength for her family and her friends.
The Tellez family first met Tita when she was 74 years old. Remarkably, she volunteered to care for our infant son and he was cherished and loved as though he were Tita’s own grandson. We were struck by her zest for life, her love for her family, her intelligence, her intellectual curiosity, her interest in people, and her all-consuming love for baseball! She spoke three languages fluently. Her home was the gathering place for friends, families and newly arrived Filipinos seeking opportunities in America.
A woman of grace and courage, Tita was always interested in young people – what they thought of the world, how they saw life and trends. She was also very interested in how young people in America are coping with the opportunities and challenges presented to them. Tita was proud of being a Filipina in America.
SOLEDAD FERNANDEZ SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Filipino descent (Full to 50% Filipino)
Cumulative GPA of B (3.0) or higher
Reside and attend high school in the SF Bay Area
If selected, attend an award ceremony and luncheon with the Tellez and Fernandez families
Note: Gather #3, #4 and #5 asap (below) to have them ready to submit by the deadline date. Mail the package to:
Filipino Advocates for Justice
310 – 8th St., Ste 306
Oakland, CA 94607
1. Cover Letter including the following:
a. Personal Information:
Date of birth
Place of birth
b. Name of High School you are attending; name of college you will be attending
2. Essay – Statement of interest in the scholarship limited to 2 pages, single-spaced, typed or printed, include the following:
a. How are your values and personal characteristics similar to those of Soledad Fernandez?
b. Demonstrated sense of social justice, equality, or compassion for the less empowered or marginalized of society.
c. Demonstrated community service experience
d. Demonstrated economic or financial need
e. What do you hope to do with your college education?
3. Transcript of Academic Records directly mailed by high school to FAJ
4. FAFSA or Guardian’s Income Tax Return
5. Letter of Admission to an accredited college or university.
(Community College is acceptable, but grant is $2,500.)