A Deeper Focus


Anne McMahon Scholarship Awards

Donna Helete, Brian Engleton, and Susan Pendergast received Anne McMahon scholarships last year. Awarded to people involved in journalism or education, the scholarship enabled recipients to attend the 2010 conference.

Anne McMahon, a much respected and beloved journalist, political aide and staffer, and dedicated environmental activist, graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Journalism. She served as the legislative aide for SLO County Supervisors David Blakely and later Jim Patterson, served as the local director of the Nature Conservancy, as a congressional staffer for Walter Capps, and as the coordinator of federal programs for the Coastal Commission. She passed away from cancer in December of 2009.

Scholarship recipient Donna Helete is the director of the Outside Now Academy. A small private school program, Outside Now emphasizes the connection between individuals, the natural world, and community.

“Outside Now’s program is mostly about living together,” Helete explained, “The students rarely ask the question, Why?” “By connecting everything with nature, what they learn makes sense. It fits into the larger scheme of life and our world.”

Helete believes participation in CCB is an important way for Outside Now to connect with the community. Last year Outside Now established a well-attended youth center at the Conference and organized demonstrations of fire-making and other outdoor skills. Helete continues to assist CCB by providing input on the content of the Youth Track at the Conference.

Many thanks to the support of the McMahon family and to the many donors, many of them friends and work associates of Anne’s, who gave generously to the McMahon Scholarship Fund. If you are interested in donating to the Anne McMahon Scholarship Fund, or in applying or nominating someone for a scholarship, please see our website for details and application/nomination forms.

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