Helen Nash believed that everyone deserved a second chance-or a third chance-or infinite chances to succeed. She was a passionate supporter of Woodland Adult Education students who are attempting to better their lives through education. Helen was not concerned with traditional measures of success such as grades or high test scores, but she championed students who were overcoming the odds and making the best out of difficult circumstances-especially young adults dealing with children, jobs, and family, but still making the time to complete their high school education and go on for further education.
As a tangible measure of her support, Helen established an annual scholarship awarded to deserving students who had completed their G.E.D. or high school diploma to assist them as they went on to college or trade school. When she was well into her nineties, and as her eyesight failed, Helen listened as each of the scholarship applications was read to her. She especially liked to support students choosing to go into careers in nursing or medical services-having encountered a number of those former adult education students who were now attending to her health care!
Before she passed away, Helen made a provision in her estate plan to ensure that this unique scholarship program could continue. “I knew it would not be cost effective to set up a private foundation for the scholarship,” said attorney Stacey Brennan, who recommended to Helen’s trustee that the bequest be directed to the Sacramento Region Community Foundation for establishment of an endowed fund. Through the Helen Nash Scholarship, the Foundation will ensure that the door to education remains open for generations of Woodland Adult Education students.
Today, those students attend class in the Helen Nash Center, named in honor of their loyal advocate. Over the years to come, many of them will also become winners of the Helen Nash Scholarship, thanks to someone who cared deeply that they succeed.