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The Academy of Our Lady of Peace Receives $2 Million from Darlene Shiley

Plus: Scholarships and grants for kids attending Camp Wamp, Alliant International University and more

From left to right, OLP student Mariela Lopez-Oviedo, Darlene Marcos Shiley, Kaseba Chibweth, Dr. Lauren Lek (Head of School at OLP), and Katie-Marie Zickert

The Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) has received a $2 million gift from Darlene Marcos Shiley to renovate an older academic building into the Shiley Center for Science and Innovation. The Center will be tricked out with a 1,500-square-foot engineering makerspace and innovation lab, as well as other multidisciplinary science labs. Founded in 1882, OLP is San Diego’s oldest high school and only all girls’ school.

In support of the Stephen J. Wampler Foundation, the community of Coronado sat down on November 7 for the Great American Dine Out. More than 33 retailers and restaurants participated, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as residents “pretended their own kitchens were closed.” Local businesses including Mexican Village, Villa Nueva, Tent City, Cafe 1134, and Nicky Rottens donated more than $3,300 to Camp Wamp, a sleep-away camp for kids with disabilities. The camp provides each child or teen one life-changing week of experiences, including STEAM activities with problem-solving tailored to each specific disability, team-building, friendship, and good old-fashioned outdoor fun (they even get to sleep under the stars!).


Connell Persico (center) with several winners of his namesake scholarship. L-to-R: Jonathan Chua, Jeannette Bergfeld, Anja Bircher, Antoine Crosby, Mimi Hoang and Shawn Giammatei. | Photo: Courtesy Alliant Educational Foundation


Retired Alliant International University administrator and professor Connell F. Persico has gifted $1 million to the Alliant Educational Foundation. The San Diego-based nonprofit foundation assists disadvantaged California students in their pursuit of higher education and careers focused on public service and community leadership. This year alone, the AEF has awarded 800 scholarships, totaling $1.75 million. Persico’s endowed scholarship program will provide, in perpetuity, financial support to LGBTQ students focusing on underserved communities. 

“I encourage others to donate to this fund as well,” says Perisco. “Over time, as the cadre grows, scholarship recipients will become an identifiable force for change.” One such example is Lemon Grove resident and the most recent Connell Perisco Scholarship recipient, Ruthie Inacay. The Alliant International University student is pursuing a doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and certificate in LGBTQ mental health.  


2018 Pride volunteers

Thanks to the most-attended San Diego Pride ever, Pride will be able to distribute more than $170,000 among 59 local and internationally-based LGBTQ-serving organizations. “San Diego Pride, its events and year-round programming are made possible by our over 30 LGBTQ-serving nonprofit community partners, 87 sponsors, 5,600 volunteer shifts, 22,000 volunteers hours, 45,000 Festival attendees, and 250,000 Parade attendees,” says San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando López. “It is this collective effort that builds on the legacy of those who came before us that makes this level of philanthropy possible.” Since 1994, San Diego Pride’s community contributions have exceeded $2.7 million.

The Old Globe has received a $1.9 million grant from The James Irvine Foundation’s New California Arts Fund (NCAF). “The generous support of The James Irvine Foundation will help us continue the impactful work of the Globe’s arts engagement programs,” said the Globe’s Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “These programs are changing lives all over San Diego—in homeless shelters, senior centers, military and veterans organizations, correctional facilities, and community organizations that serve to enfranchise populations who’ve traditionally been marginalized.”

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