Hundreds run the Natomas 5K to raise funds for kids

Natomas Schools Foundation 5k logo


Date: Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 — 8:30 a.m. / Race Day Registration 7-8:15 a.m.

Location: Inderkum High School, 2500 New Market Dr.

Early Packet Pickup & Registration: Friday, Oct. 13, 3-7 p.m. at Mountain Mike’s, 2069 Arena Blvd.

Sponsored by: Natomas Schools Foundation, 1901 Arena Blvd.


Fun Run and Walk

Its name tells much of the story: Natomas 5K Run for their Future is a community event designed to raise money to help local kindergarten through 12th-grade students, potential leaders of tomorrow.

The 5K will start at Inderkum High, loop around the Natomas Natomas Regional Park and duck pond, then finish at the high school.

Proceeds from the 5K fun run and walk will be used by the Natomas Schools Foundation and by local schools for art, academic, athletic and other school-related purposes for students living within Natomas Unified School District boundaries.

The 5K is a fun-for-all-ages event, ideal for families and meant to accommodate everyone from competitive runners to young children to anyone desiring a little Saturday exercise by walking or jogging at their own pace.

This year’s Natomas 5K Run For Their Future is the second in what is planned as an annual event. Last year, it attracted hundreds of participants of all ages.

The Natomas Schools Foundation, a nonprofit group, has been active in awarding annual college scholarships — it plans to hand out $9,000 this year, in addition to numerous new or refurbished computers.

Interested in helping sponsor the Natomas 5K? Please contact Monty Maxwell at [email protected]

Details of the 5K run and walk are posted below. To register or for more details, click here.

So please mark your calendar for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017

We hope to see you there.


NSF awards $9,000 in college scholarships to deserving high school seniors

College costs can hurt, so the Natomas Schools Foundation is doing its best to ease the pain a little for a handful of standout 12th-graders.

The nonprofit group gave away $6,500 in college scholarships this week and plans to award another $2,500 in coming days or weeks.

Scholarships of $1,000 apiece were presented to Mateo Ramirez, Olivia Johnson and Owen Wurgler.

Twelve $500 scholarships also were given away, to Mikaela Carrillo, Madelyn Peterson, Sarah Jacobs-Luttrell, Alyssa Wagner, Brenda Hernandez, Kelly Anne Lumaquin, Melissa Loupeda, Brian Dudley, Maya Gorman, Keyleigh Nealon, Daniel Lan and Victoria Vera.

NSF scholarships are designed to further the education of students who not only have shown promise academically but have a solid work ethic and/or go out of their way to serve their campus or community.

Applicants were required to have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher and, during the past two years, have served 50 hours or more in formal employment or volunteers service, which would include clubs. A short essay was required about lessons learned from that service.

Scholarship funds can be used toward expenses at a two-year college, four-year college or trade school.

The Natomas Schools Foundation is a nonprofit group committed to raising funds to benefit students and schools within NUSD boundaries. Separate from the monetary scholarships, the foundation recently awarded Chromebooks to 15 deserving youth in 5th grade or higher who needed them to maintain or enhance academic performance.

The foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser is the Natomas 5K “Run for Their Future,” which will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Inderkum High School.


15 standout students win Chromebooks in NSF ‘NextGen’ competition

Winners of Chromebook computers in this year’s Natomas Schools Foundation’s “NextGen Computer Grant Program” for committed students who need a laptop to enhance or maintain their academic success include:

  • Priyanka, a 5th-grader who takes extra Math and English lessons in her spare time to prepare for high school and college. Her goal is to become a medical doctor and find a cure for genetic disease that a very close friend – “he is not my real brother, but he treats me like a sister” – suffers from.
  • Charlesa, a top-notch 15-year-old student who has been very involved in her school’s Broadcast Media class, culinary club and cheerleading team. In her spare time, she volunteers for an organization that promotes a tobacco-free lifestyle. Charlesa’s goal is to “help my mom in any way possible” and “give her all that she deserves.”
  • Kush, 15, who tutors young children in Math and Scratch, which is a free visual programming language developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also enjoys programming iPhone apps. “Ever since I was 8 years old, I knew I was destined to be a programmer,” he wrote.
  • Yesenia, a 17-year-old high school senior, has a grade point average above 4.0 and plans to be the first in her family to attend college. Her goal is to become a social worker. “One day, I want to be able to have my siblings look up to me and say, ‘Wow, if my sister became successful, then so can I,’” she wrote.

Fifteen winners were selected for Chromebooks by the Natomas Schools Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money to supplement art, athletic and academic programs for students living within Natomas Unified boundaries.

Two NSF officials, Anna Vue and Monty Maxwell, surprised many of the winners May 16 at their schools, handing out Chromebooks on the spot. Honorees attend six local schools: Natomas High, Inderkum High, Heron, Two Rivers, Westlake Charter, and H. Allen Hight.

NSF’s “NextGen” competition was open to students who attend school within NUSD boundaries, are in the 5th grade or higher, and have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.

Applicants were judged on academic performance and potential, service to others, leadership potential, and on their need of a computer for school-related work. NSF’s goal is to help close the digital divide and assist promising students in achieving their academic and career dreams.

Jason, 15, said his new Chromebook will come in handy for schoolwork, homework, and Internet research.

Kush, a high school freshman, said he has been hoping for many weeks to win the Chromebook and can put it to good use in the tutoring he does with kids.

Mia, a 5th-grader, smiled when asked if she owns a Chromebook.

“Yes – now,” she said, cradling her prize. “Because I have this.”


Trustee Lisa Kaplan awards 5 Chromebooks to students who overcome challenges

They’re awarded face to face, hand to hand, but NUSD Board President Lisa Kaplan’s  scholarships come from the heart.

Each of the past four years, Kaplan has purchased Chromebook computers and given them to high school students who can’t afford a laptop and are tenacious in the face of adversity: They never give up and have overcome challenges to succeed in school and life.

Kaplan’s Chromebooks went this year to five students who have faced challenges ranging from dyslexia to poverty to chronic illness: Carlos Lavalle and Sheila Hernandez of Inderkum High, Faatimah Iqbal and Aisha Aslam of Natomas High, and Rodrigo Guerrero of Discovery High.

Kaplan presented the Chromebooks to each student individually April 20, surprising them by showing up at their school. Her message was that she was proud of them, they’re strong, they’ve persevered, and they’re winners, they’ll be successful.

Kaplan gave each winner a business card containing her private cellphone number and email address. If you ever need me, she told them, I’ll be there for you.

Sheila said that winning the scholarship “opened my eyes a lot more to see what things I can accomplish.”

“I prayed and prayed – and I’m excited,” she said of her new Chromebook.

Aisha was stunned to win Kaplan’s “Closing the Digital Divide” competition.

“I was in shock at first,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d win because a lot of people applied. But yeah, I’m pretty excited. I didn’t have a laptop and now I finally have one.”

Aisha wants to be a pediatric psychiatrist someday. Faatimah’s goal is to be a doctor or lawyer. Sheila wants to be an art teacher. Carlos and Rodrigo are undecided.

Kaplan’s husband, B.G. Heiland, pitched in this year for the Chromebooks. Applicants had to have a minimum 2.5 grade point average and were evaluated on the basis of financial need, academic performance, leadership potential, and courage in overcoming adversity. The scholarship program is operated through the Natomas Schools Foundation.

Kaplan, an attorney, sees a lot of herself in these kids – great potential, modest means. Her parents were not college educated, were not wealthy, and she worked her way through college, both as an undergraduate and at law school. She learned the value of hard work and the vital role computers play in a 21st century education, which prompted her to award Chromebooks via her scholarship.

“Many of our kids in Natomas come from difficult backgrounds,” she said. “They have continued to put education as a priority, yet they may not have the ability to buy a Chromebook, a laptop, which is so needed these days for success in college. So this is easy for my husband and I to do.”

Kaplan knows that it would be impossible to help every deserving student, but reaching out gives her great pleasure. She recalls words of wisdom she once read about making a difference in one life, one day at a time.

But the scholarship program is not about her, it’s about the kids, she said. “There are no words to describe seeing the look in their eyes when they realize that, wow, I applied and I got this – and somebody believes in me,” Kaplan said, smiling.

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Chromebooks and $250 mini-grants offered

The Natomas Schools Foundation has launched two helping-hand programs offering Chromebook laptop computers to 15 students who need them for schoolwork and $250 mini-grants to applicants proposing projects or purchases to benefit students in the Natomas Unified School District.

The Natomas Schools Foundation is a nonprofit group committed to supporting the academic, artistic and athletic achievements of students within NUSD boundaries, and to enhancing relationships between the district’s schools and the Natomas community.

NSF will award Chromebooks through its “NextGen Computer Grant Program” to 15 students in 5th through 12th grades. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of academic performance and potential, leadership potential, service to others, and need for a computer to maintain or improve their academic performance. Applications must be submitted by March 31 to the NUSD Ed Center, 1901 Arena Blvd.

NSF’s Mini-Grant Program will provide 10 grants of $250 apiece to assist applicants in a project or purchase to benefit NUSD’s student population. Applications must be submitted by the first Tuesday of each month to the District Ed Center, 1901 Arena Blvd. They will be reviewed monthly until all 10 grants have been awarded.

Additional details and registration forms are posted below.

Gift Form: Donate Now to Help NUSD Students

The Natomas Schools Foundation is a nonprofit group committed to raising money for scholarships, computers, mini-grants or other projects or purchases to benefit all students living within Natomas Unified School District boundaries.

In the past, the NSF sponsored the Natomas Duck Pluck Festival, an annual community event at Inderkum High School. Beginning last year, 2016, the foundation replaced the Duck Pluck with a 5-kilometer fun run — named “Run for Their Future — as its primary fundraiser.

Donations to the Natomas Schools Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 volunteer organization.

Hundreds turn out for NSF 5k ‘Run for Their Future’

NSF’s Fun-for-all Event Raises Thousands for Students

Sunny weather, happy faces, good exercise, family atmosphere and, best of all, thousands of dollars raised by the Natomas Schools Foundation to benefit students throughout the district.

NSF’s “Run for their Future” attracted about 400 runners and walkers of all ages on Oct. 1 to tackle its 5 kilometer course — 3.1 miles — that began at Inderkum High School and looped around North Natomas Regional Park and the duck pond before finishing on Inderkum’s track.

The community fun run, which replaced the Natomas Duck Pluck Festival this year as NSF’s premiere fundraising event, was designed to accommodate everyone from competitive runners to young children to anyone desiring a little Saturday exercise by walking or jogging at their own pace.

Proceeds from “Run for their Future” will be used by the Natomas Schools Foundation and by local schools for art, academic, athletic and other school-related purposes for students living within Natomas Unified School District boundaries.

The Natomas Schools Foundation, a nonprofit group, has been active in awarding annual college scholarships — it handed out three $1,000 and nine $500 scholarships in 2015-16, thus $7,500 in all. The nonprofit group also is known for its “Next Gen” and “Closing the Digital Divide” scholarships, which provide new or refurbished computers to deserving students.


NSF awards 12 scholarships totaling $7,500

 Twelve scholarships totaling $7,500 were awarded by the Natomas Schools Foundation this month to help local students attend college or trade school next year.

Recipients of $1,000 or $500 scholarships were Sarah Allen, Nomin Oyunbileg, Matthew Paterno, Rachelle Relador, Erica Wei, Joshua Hoong, Aliza Siddiqui, Ela Manaois, William Roberts, Jzov Stith-Gambles, Mikaela Carrillo and Andrew Karperos.

The NSF requires scholarship applicants to live – or have lived – within NUSD boundaries. They also must attend – or have attended – high school within the District. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 higher. They also must have served 50 hours, within the past two years, of formal employment or volunteer service. The latter could include community assistance or participation in a school club or organization.

The Natomas Schools Foundation is a nonprofit group dedicated to raising funds to benefit students in schools within NUSD boundaries. Its activities are funded through support from business sponsors, individual donors – including NUSD employees – and the entire community through various events. This year’s scholarships also benefited from a special grant by Guild Mortgage.

The following are brief descriptions of this year’s $1,000 NSF scholarship winners:

Sarah Allen – With her selfless volunteer work, excellent writing skills and leadership qualities, Sarah is someone who will continue to make a difference in our world.  Each year she has traveled to Mexico and Haiti to help build homes, work with children in an orphanage, and bring  food, clothing and meals to people living in a dump site.  She is described as relentlessly positive, caring and compassionate, qualities which she attributes to two young Haitian women she has become friends with from her volunteer work there. Her academic work is outstanding and she has been a member of her high school swim team.  Finally, she is an artist who has used her creativity to raise awareness of poverty as well as raise money for her favorite charities.  

Nomin Oyunbileg – Shehas been a strong student and active member of her high school campus through National Honor Society, Key Club, volleyball and basketball.  Nomin has balanced all this while holding a job as a bridal assistant at the House of Fashion Bridal Salon. She also has been active in the community through Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby’s Parks Leadership Academy for Youth and has volunteered at St. John’s Program for Real Change.  Nomin moved to Natomas from Mongolia in 7th grade and began her high school career in the English Language Learner program. Each year the challenge of her courseload has increased as well as her grades. She recently earned A’s in Mandarin Chinese, Physics, Music Appreciation and college prep English at the same time.  Known for her hard work, determination and concern for others, Nomin will continue to make Natomas proud!  

Matthew Paterno – He has balanced strong academics with community service through Key Club, leadership in the National Honor Society, competitive soccer, and by playing in a band.  As Vice-President and then President of the National Honor Society, Matthew helped start and manage a campus-wide recycling program. He helped grow the club 200%, to more than 100 members.  Additionally, he has produced multiple videos and films, taking on social concerns such as suicide and the drought. Matthew is a budding scientist who worked as an Engineering Assistant on public works projects for the Hannah Group, and as an intern at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures.  He earned 2nd place in the UC Davis Teen Biotech Challenge Award, creating websites showcasing the impact of nanotechnology and protein therapy on society.

 The Natomas Schools Foundation congratulates all 12 of its scholarship winners and wishes them well in college or trade school next year.


NSF Awards 18 computers in Next Gen Scholarship program

The Natomas Schools Foundation had 18 computers to award to committed students who need them to thrive in school – and these were among the applicants:

  • Brenda takes a college course and Advanced Placement high school classes, yet she finds time to play soccer, participate in a Ballet Folklorico dance group, and serves as president of the her school’s Sabor Latino and Think Globally clubs. She dreams of becoming an immigration lawyer someday.
  • Melissa has a 4.0 grade point average, takes both high school and college courses, serves as a cheerleader, is active as a Girl Scout mentoring children, has volunteered at Stanford Settlement and Kaiser, and has completed paid internships for PG&E and the Boys and Girls Club.
  • Shavneet immigrated from Fiji last year and has helped other immigrants and Hindi speakers adjust to school. He holds a job at Round Table Pizza, participates in Fijian dance, plays soccer when he has time, and wants to become an opthamologist He sought a computer to improve his grade and to help his little brother succeed in school, too.
  • Erykah has a 3.5 gpa and participates in Peer Tutoring, Christians in Action, and the Robotics Club. She also is historian for her school’s California Early College Academy program. She wants to become a Biomedical Engineer to save lives and change the world.

All four – Brenda, Melissa, Shavneet and Erykah – were among six high school students awarded Chromebooks March 25 in the Natomas Schools Foundation’s Next Gen Scholarship program. Twelve other teens won refurbished desktop computers. The nonprofit foundation raises money to supplement art, athletic and academic programs for students living within Natomas Unified boundaries.

Anna Vue, current leader of the Natomas Schools Foundation, surprised many of the students at their schools with the good news. The 18 winners attend five local schools: Inderkum, Natomas High, Leroy Greene Academy, Westlake Charter and NP3.

Applicants for Next Gen scholarships are judged on academic performance and potential, leadership potential, service to others, and on their need of a computer to improve or maintain their academic performance.

All Natomas youth were eligible to apply, including foster and homeless students. Winners had to have a minimum 2.0 grade point average. They also must live within NUSD boundaries and attend – or plan to attend – a high school within the district.

The foundation’s goal is to help close the digital divide and assist honorees in achieving their academic and career objectives.

Dozens of computers have been given away by NSF in recent years. Many were used laptop and desktop models obtained at no cost from a coalition of the California Department of Technology, California Prison Industry Authority and Merit ePartners. NSF and Natomas Unified have refurbished the computers and awarded them as scholarship prizes.