NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 1, 2013) - The Simon Foundation for Education and Housing (SFEH) announced the appointment of Sandra Bensworth as executive director. The Foundation is most prominently recognized for the Simon Scholars program which provides disadvantaged students with scholarships, life-skills and college preparatory support. This year marks the 10th anniversary for the Simon Scholars program, which has awarded more than 600 scholarships valued in excess of $20 million. Currently, 100 new Simon Scholars are selected each year and receive scholarship awards valued at $3 million.
"The Simon Scholars program is committed to building tomorrow's leaders through academic support, intensive life skills training and character building," said Ronald M. Simon, founder of SFEH. "Sandra's strong business acumen makes her the ideal candidate to support our Foundation's expansion efforts which include aligning with other foundations, corporations and individual philanthropists that share our passion to positively impact the lives of students and therefore our community."
SIMON SCHOLARS PROGRAM
In contrast to other scholarships that provide only funds for college, the high school portion of the Simon Scholars program begins in the summer before a student's junior year and features a very hands-on, intensive regimen of life skills and leadership training, coupled with academic support and a college-readiness program that includes visits to multiple colleges and universities. By the time Simon Scholars graduate high school, they have developed such enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem that are experiencing over 90% of our Simon Scholars graduate college. The program is designed to equip the Scholars with tools and resources that enable them to be successful in school and in life, thereby becoming productive members and leaders of our society with a commitment to helping others in return for the help they have received.
Each 6-year scholarship is valued at $30,000. The Simon Scholars program is currently enriching the lives of 200 high school students nationwide and supporting 300 college students that attend well-respected colleges and universities throughout the United States. The growing number of college graduates and alumni demonstrate the success of the program which fulfills the Simon Scholars purpose of enabling deserving students to pursue their American dreams and achieve independence and self-sufficiency through education.
BENSWORTH TO SPEARHEAD EXPANSION EFFORTS
Bensworth, who will draw upon her business expertise to build new partnerships with corporations, foundations and individuals, began her career as a CPA with Deloitte and then transitioned into the private sector. She has both an audit and a tax background. Bensworth was the founder and CEO of BF Consultants, a private consulting firm that provided executive and project management professionals to large corporations in Southern California. After several years of successful operations and growth, Bensworth sold BF Consultants to Accretive Solutions, a national consulting firm. She now wishes to devote the rest of her career to helping others and is passionate about the Simon Scholars program.
"This opportunity has created a new path for me both professionally and personally and I am thrilled to be working for a great foundation with a purposeful program," said Bensworth. As executive director, Bensworth will be responsible for expanding the Simon Scholars program in Southern California and nationally by increasing the number of scholarships offered to under-privileged students. The Simon Scholars program is currently sponsored and administered by two other foundations in Southern California and New Mexico, and operates its own chapters in Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.
ABOUT THE SIMON FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION AND HOUSING
Through hard work and determination, Ronald M. Simon achieved the American dream of business success, independence and self-sufficiency. He then sought an effective way to give back to others who wanted to achieve that same dream. The mission of SFEH is to help empower deserving, hard-working and responsible citizens with the resources to achieve the American dream of independence and self-sufficiency through education and affordable housing. SFEH is committed to achieving this by providing successful college education opportunities for students from difficult life and economic circumstances. The Simon Scholars program was established in 2003 with the specific goal of giving disadvantaged but determined students the tools needed to prepare for and succeed in college and life. To date the Foundation has awarded more than 600 scholarships valued in excess of $20 million. For additional information, visit www.simonscholars.org.