From Crenshaw to Oxford

Crenshaw High School student Sharron Pearson is trying to raise funds to attend a summer program at Oxford University. Sharron was one of 400 high school students from around the world who were chosen to attend the Oxford Tradition 2009 and she’s also the first student from Crenshaw High School to be accepted into the program. The only problem is Sharron needs to raise enough money for airfare.


Crenshaw High student to attend Oxford program — if she can raise enough money

Sharron Pearson is the first student from the Los Angeles school to be accepted by Oxford Tradition, officials say. She has a scholarship but figures she needs $2,500 for airfare and other expenses.

By Louis Sahagun
April 22, 2009

When Crenshaw High School junior Sharron Pearson asked for permission to apply for a scholarship to attend a summer program at Oxford University, her father’s response was blunt: “No. We can’t afford it.”

Sharron, 17, applied anyway. “Then I went to work trying to persuade my parents to reconsider,” she recalled. “I just knew they’d come around and see things my way.”

A month ago, Sharron was among 400 high school students from around the world chosen to attend the Oxford Tradition 2009 on a scholarship that covers tuition, breakfast and dinner, and 28 days of room and board in a dorm. Her studies will emphasize drama and creative writing.

Sharron is the first Crenshaw High student to be accepted by the program, school officials said.

Now, less than three months from the start of class July 5, her father, Fred Pearson, 49, is scrambling to raise donations for the airfare to get her there.

Crenshaw High has also established a donation fund for the student. “If we reach $2,500, we will stop accepting donations on her behalf,” said Assistant Principal Paul Scibetta — — who is coordinating the fundraising effort.

Sharron figures she will need about $2,500 to cover the costs of round-trip airfare and spending money over the course of the program, which is funded by New York-based Oxbridge Academic Programs.

“If the fundraisers fail,” she said with smile, “a neighborhood carwash is pending.”

This article originally appeared in Los Angeles Tuesday evening. Well it looks like the article and fundraising has paid off. The school has been inundated with donations.

Donations flow in for Crenshaw High student’s Oxford adventure

Sharron Pearson is overwhelmed by the response to her request for aid for airfare and expenses. ‘It went incredibly well — amazing,’ says the assistant principal who coordinated the effort.

By Louis Sahagun
4:00 PM PDT, April 23, 2009

A fundraising effort to help Crenshaw High School junior Sharron Pearson buy a plane ticket to attend Oxford University this summer far surpassed its goal, with about 1,000 people offering to make donations, school officials said Thursday.

“It went incredibly well — amazing,” said Assistant Principal Paul Scibetta, who coordinated the fund on behalf of Pearson, 17, who is enrolled in the school’s magnet for gifted students. “We reached our goal, and she can make the trip.”

When Pearson, who has a 4.2 grade point average, first expressed an interest in applying for a scholarship to attend the Oxford Tradition 2009 program, her father’s response was terse: “No. We can’t afford it.”

She applied anyway, and was awarded a $7,000 scholarship that covers tuition, 28 days of room and board in a dorm, and breakfast and dinner each day. Her study would emphasize drama and creative writing.

It was up to her, however, to come up with the airfare to get to London.

On Tuesday, with the support of Pearson’s family, Crenshaw High hastily launched “The Sharron Pearson Scholarship Fund” with a goal of raising about $2,500 for the plane ticket and expenses over the course of the program.

An article about the fund appeared on Tuesday evening, and in the newspaper the following day.

By noon Wednesday, the school had been inundated with inquiries from well-wishers offering donations ranging from modest checks to round-trip tickets. Among them was a man who drove to the school from Fontana on Wednesday and, trying not to cry, personally donated $100.

School officials had initially planned to end the fundraiser when it reached $2,500, but Thursday they amended the plan to accommodate donors who wanted to give anyway for Pearson’s future educational needs. The fund is in a bank account accessible only by Scibetta. No more donations are being solicited.

In an interview, Pearson said, “I’m overwhelmed. I had no idea there would be such an extensive response.”

“And I’m happy; I’m going to London,” she added. “I’m going to send a thank you letter to each and everyone who wanted to help.”

I was so happy to read that the school had met it’s fundraising goals for Sharron. Now she has the airfare to head over to England in July.

Congrats on the fundraising and I wish Sharron the best at Oxford.

One response

  1. From South Central To Oxford…

    I wish I had known about this earlier! Hat tip to Talking Stuff blog for this story. Sharron Pearson, a junior and honors student at Crenshaw High School’s gifted program in L.A., was one of 400 high school students from around the world chosen for O….

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