Together we make a profound difference

Dreaming of a Brighter Future

Ramon Ortiz, a student at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, was fascinated by economics. After school, he worked as cashier at a Taco Bell. Especially good in math, he eventually became the store manager, responsible for monitoring sales, costs, and inventory. But he knew he didn’t want to spend his life working at a low-paying job.

Though Ortiz’s parents were not able to attend college, they taught him and his sister the value of a college education and he hoped, someday, to get a college degree. But he knew it would be difficult to find money for tuition, books, and a computer.

His outlook became brighter once he encountered the California Masonic Foundation’s Investment in Success scholarship program, which enabled him to navigate the challenges of getting a four-year college education with financial coaching and help accessing federal and state funds.

Thanks to California Masons, Ortiz was able to access needed state and federal aid, and his Investment in Success scholarship covers the cost of books and some living expenses.

“If it weren’t for the help from California Masons and my Investment in Success scholarship, I probably wouldn’t be going to college,” Ortiz says. “I would probably have signed up for the minimum number of units and it would have taken me longer to graduate. I might have gotten frustrated and dropped out to work instead. My tuition is almost $3,500 a semester. My economics book was more than $100. So, the scholarship is really helping me out a lot.”

Your gifts to the fraternity’s Annual Fund make a profound difference for students like Ramon every day. Give now to help these hard-working young people achieve their dreams.

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