As summer winds down, we’re proud of all the great work that continues to happen in the Tahoe-Truckee community, and proud to share highlights from our fourth quarter. We’re shining an extra spotlight on the annual scholarship grants to local high school seniors who are now embarking on the next chapter of their educational journey.
Our Community Grant Cycle just launched, and in a few short months Give Back Tahoe will commence with the chance to support 60+ stellar local nonprofits.
Enjoy our Quarterly Impact Report and connect with us if you’d like to learn more about what nonprofits are working on, or explore volunteer and donation opportunities.
Zach Conradson, seen here with fiance Morganne Murphy-Meyers, will receive training in his pursuit to become a CAL FIRE pilot thanks to a scholarship funded in part by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, and Richard and Theresa Crocker.
With our scholarships and other efforts, carefully targeted giving can add up to more than the sum of its parts.
As many of you know, in order to execute our Impact Agenda effectively, we focus our efforts on three key areas: forests, families and housing. Very often, we find that work we do in one of these impact areas produces measurable results in another—what we might call cross-initiative resonance.
For example, our commitment to creating healthier forests and building more affordable housing can help grow a diversified economy, which in turn provides livable wages that support stable, happy families. And our community scholarship program, which in the last fiscal quarter awarded more than $1.5 million to students demonstrating both merit and need, is a place where we frequently witness efforts multiplied across various areas. The same dynamic can be found in the supplemental scholarship program, which is available to students pursuing post-secondary education.
Phyllis McConn, TTCF’s Community Impact Officer, points to one of this year’s supplemental scholarship recipients, who received funding from a variety of sources targeting specific goals.
Zach Conradson, a 2013 graduate of Truckee High School who went on to receive a BA in business management from the University of Utah, decided to build a different kind of career in flying fire-retardant bombers for CAL FIRE. That will require a great deal of training, beginning with a year in the Airline Career Pilot Program at ATP Flight School in Riverside, CA.
Evon Eisenberg, Cherished Donor and Volunteer
Donors and volunteers are vital to Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation. Their time, talents, and financial contributions fuel our mission.
We recently connected with Evon Eisenberg, a 2023 Scholarship donor, to learn more about her thoughts on volunteerism, motivations to give back, and why supporting scholarships is such a deep, personal passion:
TTCF: How did you become involved with TTCF?
EVON: I am a practicing believer in generosity—whether it’s assisting someone struggling with a heavy door, or helping those in need of food or shelter (we have hosted at least 15-20 people to live at our house in times of challenge), to offering a smile to anyone having a hard time finding one. When the ability to give more came into our lives, finding a way to do just that became a “now what” thought. TTCF has made this easy. They support us working with them which has increased our joy in giving. I’m grateful for the ways to support and for all who give of their time…truly grateful.
TTCF: What inspires you to support scholarships?
EVON: Having two daughters grow up in the Tahoe Truckee community and receive scholarships that honored their work and supported their goals, I truly recognize the value in the giving and receiving. The TTCF scholarship program was created to facilitate and ease the work and focus for these students. This then made me want to create a brighter future for us all by supporting these students. We can help them and then watch them return to be vibrant parts of our local community, as both my daughters did.
In my heart, scholarships are to be given not out of compulsion, but by the awakening of wanting to empower another’s interest in knowledge, and that creates a brighter future for us all.
TTCF: What aspect of the community scholarships process stands out the most for you, and why?
EVON: Meeting the students after reading their essay and recommendation letters was a highlight. Taking the idea out of it and seeing the human beauty of excitement, nerves and hope in those eyes and in those smiles. Observing them getting to reach for their goals in such a supportive atmosphere, as is created by TTCF.
2023 Scholarships Season
2023’s class of scholarship applicants represented a diverse cross-section of our North Tahoe and Truckee youth. Over 150 community volunteers served on 20 independent decision-making committees who reviewed 170 applications and awarded 234 scholarships. We are inspired by our next generation of leaders, and our scholarship volunteers who generously shared their time!
2023 Scholarship Recipient Information
Scholarship Spotlight: Caitlin Russell, Future Tahoe Truckee Firefighter
Every year TTCF has the honor and pleasure of getting to know our wonderful graduating senior scholarship recipients. We’re always so impressed and moved by these young people who are chasing dreams and, oftentimes, are members of the first generation in their family to attend a college.
We recently caught up with Caitlin Russell, recipient of two scholarships, to learn more about her plans for next year, which include attending Cal Poly Humboldt to study Applied Fire Science and Management… continue reading Caitlin’s story.
Supplemental scholarships are provided for individuals who want to pursue, or enhance, learning in fields that are needed in the Tahoe-Truckee community. 2023 career paths included Aviation/STEM, doctorate studies in Veterinary Medicine, and Masters degrees in Special Education and High School Counseling. This is the second year of the program which is open by invitation to applicants from May 15 to June 30.
- $172,000 awarded to 11 recipients
- NEW! $20,000 was offered by Truckee Tahoe Airport District (TTAD) to applicants pursuing qualifying aviation/STEM career paths
- NEW! $20,000 was offered by S.H.E. Foundation to applicants pursuing certification and education in teaching
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute.
Jeff Hamilton Legacy Fund
Jeff Hamilton’s generous community spirit lives on through the Jeff Hamilton Legacy Fund. Organizers are seeking your assistance in finding the most deserving nominees (who are at least 17 years old or a senior in high school, and from the Tahoe-Truckee area).
“Juniper Awards” will be given in six categories:
- Music and Writing
- Winter Olympics
- Medical Care
- Community Impact
Click here to learn more and be sure to share your nomination by closing date, September 15, 2023.
Be a Hero to Tahoe Truckee High Schoolers and Donate to the Community Scholarship Fund today!
These scholarships help young people achieve their dreams of higher education, and some students may not be able to attend college otherwise.
The Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT) has been producing a Community Report Card in three main areas—health, education, and economic well-being—for more than 15 years. CCTT utilizes data and stories from 12 key resources, including the North Tahoe Truckee Regional Housing Implementation Plan, Tahoe Sierra MLS, 2022 Community Engagement & Behavioral Health Survey Report, the US Census, the 2021 Tahoe Forest Health System Community Health Needs Assessment, the 2020-2021 California Healthy Kids Survey, the Tahoe-Truckee Unified Secondary Report, plus several more. This vital narrative helps inform CCTT’s decisions and collaborative efforts.
In May, we shared Report Card highlights at the Truckee Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning Truckee forum. We were fortunate to be joined by community partners from the Sierra Community House, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, and Tahoe Forest Health System, who provided greater context to help us understand the stories behind the data.
What truly stood out during the presentation was its ability to inspire the audience to take meaningful action in making our community a better place. The report served as a catalyst for driving positive change and empowering everyone to contribute to the well-being of our beloved community.
Jessica Penman CEO Truckee Chamber of Commerce
Partners plan a fuel reduction project in Alpine Meadows
Projects approved for TNTFMP funding
Exciting news for Forest Futures with the implementation of the Truckee North Tahoe Forest Management Program (TNTFMP) this past spring. TNTFMP is a pilot program to assist private forested property owners with wildfire resilience efforts; it has been made possible through the CAL FIRE Wildfire Resilience Block Grant Program.
In June, the first round of funding ($507,050) was awarded for seven private property forest management projects. Grants will support technical assistance, CEQA permitting process support, and on the ground projects. Private property owners will see continued support with another TNTFMP workshop in the fall, and the next application for funding in early 2024.
The Forest Futures Salon series continued with June’s topic “Preparing for the 2023 Wildfire Season”. Speakers focused on the upcoming fire season, sharing that higher elevations, such as Tahoe-Truckee, may experience a slower start to fire season due to the large amounts of winter precipitation, but folks should anticipate seeing average wildfire activity in the fall.
Watch the recording of the Forest Futures Salon here.
CEO Stacy Caldwell and Program Director Kristina Kind traveled to the State Capitol to lobby on behalf of a bill that will promote affordable housing throughout the Tahoe-Truckee region and other rural communities.
Regional Median Home Price
Locals found housing in E. Placer County and Truckee via Placemate (since inception/2019)
Members of the Policy Working Group collaborated to write in changes to SB 440, a housing bill introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner regarding Regional Housing Finance Authorities. These changes would allow Regional Housing Finance Authorities to create their own sub-regional Area Median Income (AMI), which, in our region, could provide assistance to households earning up to 150-160% AMI. Watch this clip from Mountain Housing Council’s April Quarterly Meeting to learn more.
In June, representatives of the Mountain Housing Council visited our state’s Capitol to testify in support of SB 440. The bill will directly benefit the Tahoe-Truckee community by giving more opportunities for our local governments and special districts to work together as a Regional Housing Finance Authority. SB 440 also embeds the ability to create a local definition of “affordable” when it comes to funding housing.
I am so grateful for your help getting this bill through policy committees!
Josh WrightLegislative Aide Senator Nancy Skinner, 9th District
The 2023 Community Grant Cycle
TTCF’s consolidated Community Grant Cycle is happening now! This streamlined process makes it easier for nonprofits to request the support they need. It also provides an opportunity for us to see the big picture of what is happening in our community and how nonprofits are responding to emerging needs and trends. To learn more about the Community Grant Cycle, click here.
- August 15 – Sept 15 (by 5:00 pm): online applications can be submitted through the grant application portal
- Mid-November – December: recipient notifications and award distribution
Congratulations TTCF Program Director, Kristina Kind
We’re pleased to announce the promotion of Kristina Kind from CCTT/MHC Program Coordinator to Program Director.
Prior to joining TTCF in 2020, Kristina worked extensively with youth-focused nonprofits in Lake Tahoe and in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is impressed by the resiliency of children and is committed to galvanizing the community’s resources to better support them. In her tenure at TTCF, Kristina has managed all program-related communications for Mountain Housing Council (MHC) and Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT). In her free time, she skis, hikes, and camps.
I am proud to work at TTCF and am especially grateful to work with a cadre of colleagues who care so deeply for our community. The strength of our region’s collaborative work is awe-inspiring and often highlighted inside and outside the region. I am excited for this new role.
Kristina Kind TTCF Program Director
Sending Fond Farewells
After 15 years of leading the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT), Alison Schwedner has departed from her role as Director. During her tenure, Alison developed a trust-based culture of collaboration, shining a light on community disparities and advocating support for those who need us most. She catalyzed many community solutions, including the creation of wellness centers throughout Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Alison was instrumental in unifying the Family Resource Center of Truckee, North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, and Project MANA into Sierra Community House, and she helped develop the Tahoe-Truckee COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster).
Read Alison’s recent, Moonshine Ink article about her career in the nonprofit sector: Some People Are Struggling; We Must Do Our Part to Help.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Lauren Obrien, who recently reached term limits after serving TTCF’s Board with nine years of exemplary service.
Lauren joined the TTCF Board on July 1, 2014, and she served as Board Chair from 2018 to 2020. She quickly showed her passion and experience in innovative business modeling and community impact, leading the strategic planning efforts for the Board. Lauren served on multiple committees including Finance, Capital Attraction, Executive Committee, and also guided the early conversations that inspired our Forest Futures initiative. Her presence and service has truly strengthened the TTCF mission over the years. Lauren is now a member of the esteemed TTCF Past Board Chairs.
Forest Futures Salon
September 12, 2023 | 4:00 – 5:15 pm | Woody Biomass Utilization for Healthier Forests: Local Solutions in Development
CCTT Resource Sharing Meeting
September 29 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm | Safety Planning: A suicide prevention and crisis deescalation training hosted by CCTT and the Suicide Prevention Coalition
- September 15: Jeff Hamilton Legacy Fund Juniper Awards nomination cycle closes
- September 15: Community Grant Cycle application window closes (5:00 pm)
- September 27: TTAD Agency Partnership Program Board of Directors decision meeting