Fresno State partners with United Way to deliver hundreds of backpacks to Madera students

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United Way and Fresno State surprised hundreds of 7th graders at Martin Luther King Junior Middle School with a brand new backpack filled with school supplies. (KFSN)

In Madera, 500 students were treated to a bold surprise thanks to Fresno State and United Way.

We're used to seeing school spirit at pep rallies, but these students are cheering for the college they hope to attend.

"Be bold in what you do, be bold in how you act and be bold in how you dream," said Mary Castro, the wife of Fresno State's president.

United Way and Fresno State surprised hundreds of 7th graders at Martin Luther King Junior Middle School with a brand new backpack filled with school supplies.

"It's about letting them know that they're not alone in trying to go for their dreams," Castro said.

It's not just about the backpacks that were given, it's about the mission behind them. Alondra Preciado is beaming with pride thanks to an even bigger surprise inside the backpack - a letter personally signed by Fresno State president Joseph Castro.

"I feel like someone actually believed in me, and I can make it to college and succeed in life," she said.

The school's teamed up with Madera Unified superintendent Todd Lile to decide on a beneficiary class.

"What we want to do is take on a whole 7th grade class that we can support for six years and see what happens when we give them more than just a backpack," Lindsay Callahan with United Way said.

In addition to the giveaway, United Way has created a scholarship fund to Fresno State. Each 7th grader in this class will submit a yearly essay outlining their aspirations and, of course, ways they are bold.

"Based on their growth over the next six years, that's how were going to determine who gets the scholarship," Callahan said.

Through fundraising efforts, they hope to be able to grant more than one scholarship.

Related Topics:
educationeducationfresno stateMadera
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