Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation is saddened to announce its President, Judy Riley, passed away on April 10 due to complications from pneumonia. Judy was an educator by profession who dedicated countless volunteer hours to provide funds for Santa Clarita Valley high school students to continue their educations.
Judy was a math teacher at both La Mesa and Rio Vista Junior High Schools before her retirement from teaching in 1998. Rhonda Durand, Principal at Arroyo Seco Junior High, fondly remembers Judy during her time at La Mesa JHS when she (Durand) served as the Assistant Principal. “Judy was always such high energy, loved by her students and parents alike. She made math active and fun. Even as a substitute teacher after her retirement, Judy left a legacy in our valley schools that will continue,” added Mrs. Durand.
Judy was in her third term as SCV Scholarship Foundation president, an organization that has been providing merit and need scholarships to deserving graduating high school seniors since 1977. The Foundation works with local businesses, education groups, other philanthropic foundations, parent organizations and volunteers to establish and distribute these scholarships to students attending all nine high schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 and go directly to pay for tuition, books and student housing. This year alone the Foundation received over 400 applications for 125 available scholarships. SCV Scholarship Foundation has awarded $2.5 million in scholarships over the past 35 years for recipients to continue their education at a college, university or vocational school.
“Judy was such a believer that our youth are our future and their education is paramount, that she and her husband Michael Riley, also an active community volunteer with the SCV Food Pantry, have personally funded a scholarship for many years,” said Assistant Treasurer, Terry Kanowsky. “Her inspiration will be sorely missed.”
The Foundation’s current Vice President, Elaine Foderaro, who has been Acting President since February, will assume the Presidency to complete Judy’s term. Elaine was quick to say, “I will truly miss Judy and her constant guidance she gave me this past year as my mentor. She was a person who should have been cloned for every organization in Santa Clarita. She never felt anything was too much for her to do, and she accomplished many things for her family, students, and the SCV Scholarship Foundation...my heart is very heavy and saddened.”
“Judy was instrumental in coining the Foundation’s mission statement: Helping today’s scholar’s become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Secretary, Josy Block. “This statement says it all and drives us forward in carrying out Judy’s dream.”
A memorial service was held on Saturday, April 21 at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in the Main Chapel. The family has requested memorial donations in Judy’s name be sent to the SCV Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 220236, Santa Clarita, CA 91322.
For more information about the SCV Scholarship Foundation, go to www.scvsf.org.
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