Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mamasay Memories: Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund

"Meet me on the highway, Meet me on the road, As long as you've got to travel, don't you want someone to help you carry your load" ~ Carole King

UPDATE: It seems I was mistaken and there is a way to donate online. Yay! Just go here and make sure to put "Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund" in the "Donated on behalf of" box.

When my cousin called me last spring out of the blue, I sat there all slack-jawed. Why would I be so shocked at a call from my cousin? One, I don't talk with very many of my 20-plus cousins on the phone. Two, this cousin had relayed the most incredible, generous, heartfelt idea to me. He wanted to start a scholarship fund in my mom's name. I was blown away. I didn't realize the impact my mom had made on her nephew. Just wow. (Also, why didn't I think of that?) In any case, I thought it was a brilliant idea and managed to mumble some sort of thank you as soon as my mouth started working again. Then my cousin got my sister and Dad on board, and after a bit of brainstorming about what the scholarship would entail, the Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund was born.

My mom was a Language Arts teacher at a middle school in Pacifica, California, and teaching about literature and writing was her passion. But she also taught an elective class called AVID, otherwise known as Advancement Via Individual Determination, which became very special to her. AVID is a program that helps students who have the desire to go to college but fall in the academic middle. Perhaps they would be the first in their family to go to college or they don't have access to college prep resources. Through this program, my mom taught middle school students organizational and study skills and helped them to develop long-term plans, both academically and personally. We felt it would make the most sense to grant her scholarship to an AVID student. We're really looking forward to rewarding this scholarship in 2011!

So, I don't usually make pleas for cash on this blog (I could start if you like it! I'm all about making my readers happy, of course.). But if you're thinking about giving this holiday season to some sort of charity, think about giving to the Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund. She was such an amazing teacher and all-around person. We only hope to further her impact by giving a young person the ability to go to college who may not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise. 

We don't have a fancy website or an easy way to donate online at the moment, but hopefully we can get that going for next year.  For more information about AVID, please visit

How to Donate to the Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund:
Make an easy donation online:

Or to go old school, please mail checks to:
Steven Baratte
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
AVID Center
9246 Lightwave Ave.  Ste. 200
San Diego, CA  92123
Checks should be made payable to “AVID Center - Scholarship Fund”. Please be sure to write “Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund” in the memo field so that the donations are applied appropriately.
I would love to know if you have donated to the scholarship fund. Please let me and my family know by sending us an email to We can't thank you enough for your generosity and interest in donating to the Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund.

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