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Since 1991, the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club Foundation has offered scholarships to high school students who may not graduate. High school graduation is considered essential for long-term success and independence. The Foundation believes that the best way to help these students is to provide them the support and encouragement necessary to empower them to take charge of their destiny, beginning with completion of high school. The Foundation was established by the Santee Lakeside Rotary Club to raise funds to provide incentives to students that will help them to graduate. The incentive is a two-year scholarship to a college or an accredited business/trade school of their choice if they graduate with their class.
Students enter into contracts, agreeing to maintain good citizenship, remain drug and alcohol free, complete twenty hours of community service per school year and participate in a mentorship program. Rotarians are assigned students they are to mentor. Mentorship is personalized and geared towards the strength of the Rotarian and the needs of the student. Rotarians provide support and guidance and advocate for tutoring funds from the Foundation should the student need it. Students direct a portion of their required community hours to projects directly tied to Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club’s service projects.
Students are nominated at from each of the three high schools within the Santee Lakeside Rotary Club’s service area - Santana High School, West Hills High School and El Capitan High School. Rotarians interview the nominated students and select participants based upon their desire to graduate and to do the work required by the program. The number of students selected relies solely on the available funding to support the program.
Since it was founded in 2010, the Santee Lakes Foundation has been active in our community sponsoring projects designed to raise funds for various projects with the Santee Lakes Recreational Preserve. The first of the those projects was the Lap The Lakes Fun Run which was held for several years before being blended into the Waddle and Trot 5K Thanksgiving Run in partnerships with the Santee Santas Foundation and the Santee Food Bank. This yearly event, held along the shores of the Santee Lakes, is held each Thanksgiving Day to raise for for all those charities that serve the citizens of Santee.
Beginning a few years ago, the Santee Lakes Foundation partnered with the Santee Lakeside Rotary Club Foundation to sponsor the Concert At the Lakes, an annual Concert held at the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.
Some of the projects that have been funded by the Santee Lakes Foundation include: receptacles for fishing lines, tree plantings, a permanent shade sail over the Children's Playground, new concrete picnic tables and in 2017, the new BARK PARK for use by Campers for their dogs. Thanks to the work of the Foundation, improvements within the Park are being funded by the efforts of the Santee Lakes Foundation and its members.