CMC Foundation Accepting Applications for the F. Roy Greenleaf, Jr. Scholarship

    February 15, 2010

    JOSHUA TREE, Ca– The Copper Mountain College Foundation is now accepting applications for the F. Roy Greenleaf, Jr. Scholarship for the 2010-2011 school year. The Greenleaf Scholarship will be awarded to a local high school senior that demonstrates: a strong determination to succeed; an abiding desire to help others in their school, family and community; financial need; and an interest in serving the Morongo Basin upon completion of their education.

    This year, the CMC Foundation website is featuring excerpts from a video interview of the 2005 Greenleaf Scholar, Ryan O’Connell, by long-time CMC supporter and student, Genevieve Salisbury. Ryan, now age 22 and the fourth recipient of the Greenleaf Scholarship, began medical school this past August at the University of Southern California, School of Medicine, where he hopes to earn his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree by June, 2013. Ryan was awarded the Copper Mountain College Foundation’s prestigious Greenleaf Scholarship following graduation from Yucca Valley High School in 2005 and went on to earn an Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts from CMC in 2006. He then satisfied pre-med requirements at Cal State San Bernardino where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 2009, majoring in biology, with a grade point average of 3.65.

    Thinking back to the day he learned he had been awarded the Greenleaf Scholarship, Ryan said, “It was a time of sheer excitement…one of the happiest days of my life! I am most grateful to Mr. Greenleaf and the Copper Mountain College Foundation.” Ryan also revealed that his peers at Cal State were constantly amazed to learn of this generous scholarship, “They just couldn’t believe it!” The new medical student further commented, “The Greenleaf Scholarship has allowed me to concentrate on my studies and not worry about major issues such as tuition, affording a place to live, and the expense of textbooks.”

    The F. Roy Greenleaf, Jr. Education Fund was established by the estate of Roy Greenleaf, Jr. and is administered by the Copper Mountain College Foundation. The Greenleaf Scholarship pays for tuition, books, fees and standard living expenses for a graduating senior from one of the five Morongo Basin high schools including Joshua Springs Christian, Monument, Sky, Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley. The selected senior is expected to enter Copper Mountain College in the fall of 2010 and earn a degree within two years. Scholars complete their education at a four-year UC or CSU institution within California, and can apply for support for graduate degrees, subject to approval and available funding.

    Interestingly, academic excellence is not the primary criterion of the Fund. Mr. Greenleaf desired that “average” deserving students have an equal chance to receive support. Mr. Greenleaf was particularly interested in helping students who possess a strong determination to succeed, and demonstrate an abiding wish to help others, in school, family, and community.  Ryan O’Connell enthusiastically believes everyone should contribute to the community by volunteering whenever possible. He served with the Yucca Valley Clean Team while attending school, prior to and after, becoming a Greenleaf Scholar.

    Ryan said, “I think I received more than I gave as a volunteer…it makes one feel good and is a way to make friends.” Ryan has many friends in the Morongo Basin, including lasting friendships with many teachers at CMC. Ryan was born in San Dimas, California, to Betty and Stephen O’Connell. He arrived in Yucca Valley at age eleven, having moved from Montclair, California, where he spent his earliest childhood years. Ryan has a sister and two brothers, one of whom is a local pharmacist. After completing medical school, internship, and residency, Ryan wants to return to the desert.

    Previous Greenleaf Scholars are Jillian Burkett, 2002; Jennifer Meyers-Giddings, 2003; Catherine Cahill, 2004; Ryan O’Connell, 2005; Samantha Stephens, 2006; Tollian Waite, 2007; Geanne Weaver, 2008; and Rhonda Romberg, 2009.

    Application forms and additional information is available in the Counseling Office at each of the five eligible high schools, and at the Copper Mountain College Foundation office on the CMC campus next to the General Ernie Reid Bookstore. The due date for the return of the application to the applicable high school Counseling Office is Thursday, March 25, 2010. Finalists will be interviewed and the winner announced in late April, with the remaining finalists receiving a cash award. For additional information on this unique scholarship opportunity, please call the Copper Mountain College Foundation office at 760-366-3791 ext. 5012, or visit the Foundation online at