The Julianne Marie Huerta Memorial Scholarship fund is being coordinated by the offices of Republican Assemblyman Roger Niello of Fair Oaks, and Democrat Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento. A fundraising kickoff will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, in the Capitol Garage at 1500 K Street.
Foster youth lose family and state financial aid when they turn 18. Organizers are hoping to raise at least $50,000 to create an endowed scholarship that will help them attain a college degree.
"This provides our students that unconditional support and guidance they need to succeed during their tenure at Sac State and beyond," says Joy Salvetti, director of Sacramento State's Guardian Scholars Program
Huerta died in December after a five-year battle with breast cancer. She worked at a number of state agencies over the years, most recently as a human services fiscal and policy analyst for the state Assembly. She also volunteered on behalf of foster youth.
"She had seen the plight of foster youth first hand and was dedicated to improving conditions for them," says Peter Schaafsma, staff director of the Assembly Republican Fiscal Office.
After Huerta's death, her friends and colleagues searched for a memorial that would honor her life's work. "We looked at Guardian Scholars and it was just perfect," says Gail Gronert, special assistant to Assembly Speaker John A. Perez.
The fundraising kick-off is open to the public, and will begin the process of building resources for the scholarship, Gronert says.
"It means the world to us to receive this support," Salvetti says. "We are very fortunate that they identified our campus."
Donations may be made to the University Foundation at Sacramento State for the Julianne Marie Huerta Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Guardian Scholars Program, Sacramento State University, 6000 J Street, Sacramento Hall, Sacramento, CA 95819-6016.
For media assistance, call Sacramento State's Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.