Published March 26, 2021
By KEA YENGST
While many CHS upperclassmen go on endless searches to save money for college, whether it be through community college or scholarships, the Ron Stoney Educational Pathways Program, supported by the Carmel High School Foundation, offers financial support for an endless array of unique summer opportunities for students currently enrolled in grades 9-11.
The program provides leverage into professional programs and careers for students who show demonstrated interest, which can help them have a solid idea of what they would like to major in or what career path they would like to take on in their adult life. For instance, one of the program’s first recipients, who had been granted assistance for a pre-medicine based program, shifted her passion for medicine to a professional career in the art industry.
“During our first year, we had a student interested in going into a pre-medical program, and once she had completed it, she decided that she did not want to be a doctor anymore,” says Patricia Hunt, the CHS college and career center coordinator and the primary liaison for the program.“We thought that the decision was excellent, because it is just as important to know what you don’t really want to do as it is what you do want to do.”
Members of the CHS Class of 2021 have surely benefited from this generous opportunity when it comes to finding a career path of best fit and planning ahead for the future with the recent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2020, current senior Noah Fann was granted more than $5,900 by the program for two architecture-based summer programs he applied for from both California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and the University of California, Berkeley.
“It would have definitely benefited me,” says Fann, who plans to attend Monterey Peninsula College and then transfer to Cal Poly or University of California, Santa Cruz.
The application process consists of factors somewhat similar to that of a traditional college application, including the composition of an essay and short answers and even an interview with a panel consisting of parents, teachers and board members.
CHS senior Broden Murray initially received financial assistance from RSEPP for one of U.C. Santa Cruz’s summer programs, COSMOS, in 2019, but when he was waitlisted, he chose to use the received aid for summer courses from the same institution.
Created in 2004 by 1951 CHS alumnus Dr. Ron Stoney, the program was an output of an earlier decision by Stoney of taking a biology class rather than a typing class during his sophomore year of high school, which resulted in him receiving an additional opportunity for a marine biology program over the summer and later assisting post-doctoral students at Stanford University and research at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove.
“This program offering changed his life,” Hunt says. “He went on to medical school, became one of the leading vascular surgeons in the country and has written many books. Ron Stoney has saved thousands of lives because of this opportunity in the summer.”
Today, Dr. Stoney is currently an emeritus professor at University of California, San Francisco, and is the co-founder and chief medical officer of Vascular Cures, a nonprofit established in 1982 that specializes in funding streams of research and medical fees directly related to vascular disease.
Due to a lack of funding and recent donations, RSEPP provides financial assistance to a majority of costs for a given program rather than the entirety of the program. Students’ families still have to contribute a small amount of the desired program’s cost, but RSEPP does everything it can to support a student’s pique of interest in a particular program.
With plans to stay open to future applicants and students for years to come, the future looks promising for anyone who plans to have a summer filled with productivity and exploration in a provided niche.
To learn more about summer educational programs and the RSEPP, visit www.carmelhighschoolfoundation.org.