Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens Honored by SFUSD for Providing 130 Full Summer Scholarships to High School Students

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Last week, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) honored Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens for providing full scholarships to SFUSD High School Students during the summer of 2011. When SFUSD reduced summer school as a result of the budget cuts, Dr. Stephens stepped up and offered students free registration, tuition and art supplies for the full summer session of classes at the Academy. In 2010 and 2011, Dr. Stephens provided 130 scholarships to SFUSD students.

This week, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) honored Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens for providing full scholarships to SFUSD High School Students during the summer of 2011. When SFUSD reduced summer school as a result of the budget cuts, Dr. Stephens stepped up and offered students free registration, tuition and art supplies for the full summer session of classes at the Academy. In 2010 and 2011, Dr. Stephens provided 130 scholarships to SFUSD students.

As San Francisco School Board President Hydra Mendoza presented Dr. Stephens with a Recognition of Commendation honor, she stated, "When you offer the scholarships and open these opportunities to so many kids who otherwise do not have access, you are changing lives. For many of our students, art doesn't exist as much as we want it to, and thanks to your generosity, they have a chance to see what is possible if they choose to pursue a career in the arts."

Over the years, thousands of high school students have received summer scholarships to the Academy of Art University's pre-college program. Students can also take classes on Saturdays during the school year. Some students experience the arts for the first time, others further explore their dreams of a career in an art or design field. They get the opportunity to learn from top Academy instructors, who are professionals in their fields and can show students, for example, how video game design work requires a foundational knowledge of art.

"The Academy is honored to be able to support public education in the Bay Area," said Dr. Stephens at the presentation. "We are pleased that so many of these students benefited from their experience and that some have even discovered their passion for a career in the arts. During tough times, it is important for our community to come together, particularly when it comes to the education of the next generation."

Jacob Moll-Luden., a student at John O’Connell High School, added, "Because of Dr. Stephens, I have found my passion in life. This program helps students that maybe would not otherwise know what they are doing with their life ... I have to say thank you, Dr. Stephens ... thank you for allowing the students this opportunity."

For more information on the Academy of Art University Scholarship program, visit: http://www.academyart.edu/degrees/pre-college.html

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Lisa Cohen
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