Many scholarships focus on academic merit or financial need, but the Kimberly Plater scholarship is awarded to those who are passionate about serving their community.
Plater, former Cal Poly Pomona chief of police from 1990 to 2002, felt that most scholarships focused on GPA alone and that students should also be rewarded for giving back. When she retired, she asked that, instead of gifts, colleagues donate to a scholarship in her name.
¿I used volunteer service as one of the criteria for the scholarship because I believe that everyone should find a way to give back to their community,¿ Plater says. ¿I have been a volunteer since I was 5 years old, and a day does not pass when I don¿t think ¿what can I do to help others?¿¿
Plater volunteers five to six days a week. On campus, she helps at the University Library, is a member of the Friends of the Library, and works with the Violence Prevention & Women¿s Resource Center. She also volunteers off campus at the Inland Empire United Way, Covina Woman¿s Club, is a member of the General Federation of Women¿s Clubs, and is the co-chair and co-founder of the Domestic Violence Action Coalition.
Scholarship recipients must be full-time students in the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences. Students must submit a one-page statement that demonstrates how the money will help them to obtain their professional goals while serving the community.
¿Students that work, volunteer and go to school are really well-rounded, have life experience and deserve a helping hand in the form of a scholarship,¿ Plater says. ¿I only wish that there was more I could do for these students.¿
Recipients this year are Joanna Williams, Abigail Inman, Kimberly Fuentes and Tanya Sanabria. Each student received $500.
Joanna Williams worked in the financial industry for 10 years before deciding to return to school as a sociology major. She plans to become a social worker because her passion is in helping those who need it the most.
Abigail Inman is a second-year English major who volunteers with Professor Renford Reese¿s Prison Education Project. Through this project, Inman tutors inmates at the California Institute for Men in Chino and is working on building a prison library.
Kimberly Fuentes, a senior sociology major, is working toward becoming a juvenile probation officer. She would like to help youths overcome personal and social factors that might lead them to commit criminal acts.
Tanya Sanabria, also a sociology student, has researched gender inequity in the workplace at Stanford University. She would like to be a researcher in order to contribute to her field of study through activism.