Investing in Those Who Care

Residents at Front Porch communities care deeply about supporting the staff that provide them excellent care and service on a daily basis. One way many communities show that support is through the Employee Scholarship Fund, a core fund of Front Porch Communities Foundation. Front Porch’s first employee scholarship program was launched with a $500 gift and a big dream at Villa Gardens in  Pasadena in 1993. Since then, residents have given generously to endow the scholarship fund, which topped $400,000 this year.

Mirian and Betsy

At Casa de Mañana in La Jolla, the Foundation’s Casa de Futuro Fund provides scholarships to children of Casa employees. Over the past two years, it has provided $55,000 in scholarships to a total of 11  scholars. The program is a partnership between the Foundation and Casa’s scholarship committee to raise the funds, and the San Diego Foundation, which administers and disburses the funds. Awards typically range from $4,000 to $6,000 per student per year.

Mirian Roldan, a housekeeper at Casa de Mañana since 2013, and her daughter Betsy were each able to receive a scholarship to further their education, thanks to the Casa de Futuro Fund. Born in Mexico,  Mirian learned English “on the job.” “I did my best to teach myself, but I always felt I needed more formal training,” said Mirian. In 2021, Mirian received a scholarship that helped her pay for two semesters of English classes, books, materials, and a laptop — an essential tool that enabled her to enroll in online classes through the Mid-City Campus of San Diego College of Continuing Education.

“There was no way I was going to be able to enroll in this class without a laptop,” Mirian said. “For that, I’m very grateful. I wanted to improve my English so I could communicate better with residents and my co-workers and serve this community the best I can.”

Betsy, Mirian’s daughter, used her Futuro scholarship funds to attend graduate school at the University of San Diego after attending UCLA for her undergraduate degree in psychology and Spanish, Community and Culture. She is now working on her master’s degree in marital and family therapy.

“It was surprising but wonderful that the Foundation has this opportunity available for children of employees,” Betsy said. “There are not many scholarships out there for graduate work so it’s been a lot of help. My mom knew I was worried about the cost for school so she encouraged me to apply.”

Front Porch residents appreciate the opportunity to serve those who care for them by investing in the futures of their local employees and their children. Casa resident Dr. Kate Morton has been a longtime supporter of the Scholarship Fund, driven in part from gratitude for the help she received as a young medical doctor to immigrate to the United States. After moving into Casa in 2004, Kate wanted to “pay forward” the assistance she received by reinvigorating the employee scholarship program at Casa de Mañana. Kate saw much potential in growing the Scholarship Fund so she organized campaigns, got the word out via the resident newsletter, “Casa Connections,” and told anyone who would listen about the importance of supporting employees who wanted to better themselves educationally but who did not have the financial resources to do so. 12 years later, Kate saw an unmet need for scholarships to benefit children of employees at Casa. She laid the groundwork to establish and grow the Casa de Futuro Fund.

“As a physician, I have done a lot of teaching, and I value the importance of an education,” Kate said. “My background inspired me to pass on my good fortune to others. I am pleased with the results.”

“Over the years, Kate has been a driving force behind the Scholarship Fund at Casa,” said Keith Church, Front Porch Communities Foundation gift officer. “Without her support, the Fund would not be as strong as it is today.”

Bonus content: Read about Villa Gardens employee and scholarship recipient Kohar Kelkelyan.