Published May 12, 2022
BY SOPHIA BONE
From sponsoring future firefighters to funding conservation trips in Hawaii, the Ron Stoney Educational Pathways Project has helped foster career exploration for Carmel High School students of all grades over the past five years, most recently helping eight juniors fund their summer plans.
A total of $20,000 was awarded this year, the highest total amount given yet, to juniors Emma Brown, Cassidy Bullas, Emma Heiser, Brady Kasper, Jerry Marnell, Noah Mayer, Sonoma Pool and Sierra Wouden-Crosno.
“It is important that kids have opportunities to explore careers and interests while they are young and get connected to something,” says longtime committee member Patricia Hunt, the CHS college and career coordinator. “And that is exactly why it is special that we fund it for the kids who cannot afford to do it.”
Wouden-Crosno plans on majoring in some sort of science in college and will be using her funds to attend a four-week University of Southern California Discover Engineering program this summer. She also received the scholarship last year which let her attend the Science at Sea Program which took place on the East Coast.
The whole scholarship program is thanks to cardiovascular surgeon and philanthropist Dr. Ronald J. Stoney, a CHS alum who discovered his love of medicine with the helpful nudge of a biology teacher during his sophomore year. Stoney has been trying to repay the favor to his alma mater through this program.
“If a teacher had not said, ‘You should do biology, you’re pretty smart at it,’ hundreds of thousands of people would be dead because he wouldn’t have invented that special heart valve,” explains Hunt when referring to the Omni-Tract, a medical device Stoney helped create, which has saved countless lives in numerous surgeries throughout the world since its invention.
In addition to his Education Pathways Program, Stoney also is the co-founder of Vascular Cures, a research foundation committed to helping patients with vascular diseases.
With the funding Heiser is receiving, she will be going to Maui and Kauai for two weeks to attend an Island Habitat Restoration service program where she will learn how to preserve the natural ecosystems there through working with native Hawaiian people and experiencing their culture. The board of directors also decided to grant her more than she asked for and is funding about half of her trip.
“I definitely encourage people if they have a passion for something and want to apply to a program that might be out of their price range to apply for the Ron Stoney scholarship because it can help make that happen,” comments the marine-life enthusiast.
Other winners this year received funds for the University of California at Davis COSMOS program–The California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science–the United States Naval Academy STEM camp summer seminar, a five-week Northwestern University journalism program, a self-paced SAT PrepScholar course and a California School of Arts Ceramics program.
The application for the RSEPP opened in December, and after filling out a Google Form with which they explained why they sought funding and how much they were asking for, students were called in for interviews in front of a committee and found out the results by the end of February.
“The scholarship covered the whole cost of the program for me, and I do not know if I would have been able to pay for it otherwise, so I’m thanking Ron Stoney for really making it possible at the end of the day,” mentions Marnell, who will be attending a week-long Economics for Leaders camp at University of California at Santa Barbara.
It is no doubt that CHS led to a prosperous career for Ron Stoney, and now through his scholarship eight fortunate Carmel students will have more opportunities to follow in his footsteps.