Keeping Literacy Alive

Words Alive has awarded a total of $30,000 in scholarships to 11 outstanding students from the 22 San Diego County Juvenile Court and Community Schools. Each of the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship recipients will receive an award ranging from $1,250 to $5,000 for the 2016-2017 academic year, which will help cover the cost of tuition, books, and other educational supplies, as well as rent, food, childcare, clothing, travel, and other living expenses. The program also matches each recipient with a mentor, who will provide guidance, direction, and emotional support. This year’s scholarship recipients include: Trisha McElroy (University of Southern California), Rose Gonzalez (San Diego State University), Dezarae Frost (San Jose State University), Destiny Frost (California State University, Bakersfield), Brittany Jackson (University of California, Santa Cruz), and Zaphire Alonso Duarte, Felicia Hurtado, Danielle Mejia, Daimeon Rodriguez, Diana Gonzalez Soto, and Itzel Vega (San Diego City College).

Rancho Santa Fe philanthropist Ruth Westreich created the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Program in 2007 and continues to fund it each year. The program awards scholarships to Words Alive Adolescent Book Group program participants to support them in their pursuit of higher education. “Words Alive is honored that Ruth Westreich and the Westreich Foundation established the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship,” said Words Alive founder Leslye Lyons. “Their generosity has allowed us to help many bright, talented, dedicated teens achieve their educational goals. The whole community will benefit from what the students, in turn, offer back to all of us.”

Words Alive is a nonprofit organization that helps underserved, low-income, at-risk children, teens, and families discover how books and reading can add meaning to their lives. Words Alive engages its participants in developing a connection to reading with innovative programs and initiatives with the goal of creating lifelong readers and learners. For more information visit