- Financial Assistance
Upon receiving the news that he was one of the recipients of the Vivienne S. Camp Scholarship, Ziven Posner was in disbelief. He read the email from JFCS’ Financial Aid Center two more times before he convinced himself that it was real. He then shouted and started to cry.
Maya Ben Tov, the other recipient awarded a scholarship, had a similar response to the news. “I was so shocked and happy! I know there were many qualified applicants for the scholarship. This relieves me of needing a student loan for now. I’m so grateful!”
The Vivienne S. Camp Scholarship is a special grant funded by a generous donor to one male and one female student. Scholarship requirements include: academic excellence, being raised in a Jewish home with a strong focus on Jewish community involvement, acceptance to a California college, and a financial need.
Maya and Ziven were selected because they embody many of the most admirable aspects of the next generation of the Jewish community. Their commitment to academic growth and desire to pursue careers that serve others made them ideal candidates in the eyes of the selection committee.
The Opportunity to Focus on Studies, Not Debt
For both Maya and Ziven, the sizable scholarship ($29,456 to each student, disbursed over four years) means that they can spend their time in college focused on their studies, which will be nothing new for these two academic achievers.
Maya has been an excellent student at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, achieving a 4.21 GPA. Ziven completed ten AP classes at El Molino High School (EMHS) in Forestville, which brought his GPA to an impressive 4.39.
Maya’s family belongs to Bar Yohai Sephardic Minyan, an Orthodox synagogue in Sunnyvale. This small Jewish community is comprised of a diverse group of Jews that includes Ashkenazim and others from all over the world. Maya has been a modern Jewish girl growing up in a conservative Jewish family. Over the years, she has learned to advocate for herself so that she could partake in some activities not typically open to young women in a conservative household. Her persistence paid off—Maya began taking Hebrew lessons a few years ago.
Ziven grew up in an interfaith family, but was raised Jewish and exposed to Jewish traditions and customs growing up. His family belonged to Kol Haemek Synagogue where he attended Shul School (1st – 8th) and became Bar Mitzvah. His paternal rabbi grandfather encouraged him to develop his Jewish identity, for which he is excited to apply this advice in college and looks forward to attending campus Hillel events.
Plans for the Future
Both Maya and Ziven chose to attend University of California schools. Maya will be attending the UC Davis for a Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior degree. She became fascinated with the study of Human Anatomy and Physiology in High School, and it has grown to be her passion in life. She hopes to continue to medical school and pursue practicing medicine in the pediatric field.
With interest in the human body, it is no surprise that Maya is also an accomplished dancer. She started taking ballet lessons at five years old and danced competitively from 6-10th grade, which required 30 hours a week of her time. For the past two years, she has been an instructor at Luna Dance Studio.
Ziven will be attending UC Berkeley for their renowned engineering program. He loves math and science, and in high school was known as the kid who created ingenious inventions. When Ziven was a sophomore, he built his own tiny home, which he now uses as his “office.” He is also a four-year member of the Project MAKE program at EMHS where he created a Digital Doormat (an intruder alert email program) among other gadgets.
Ziven’s accomplishments helped in his selection as a Sonoma State University intern for the Intelligent Systems Lab last summer, where he learned to create and build wearable sensors-machine learning and robotics.
“I have two dream jobs,” says Ziven. “I would like to work for a company like Rivian, that makes a positive impact on the world, or I’d like to start my own company and make something that people need.”
Michelle Lamphere, Director of JFCS’ Financial Aid Center, says, “Maya and Ziven were selected for their academic excellence, their roots to the Jewish community, and financial need. It will be a joy to watch them succeed and go out in the world.”
Scholarships and Loans Program
Each year JFCS’ Financial Aid Center helps over 50 eligible undergraduates, and graduate students offset the expenses of higher education through low-interest loans and scholarships. The center also gives out competitive business and professional loans to budding entrepreneurs.
Partial funding for the JFCS scholarship program is provided by generous individual support, foundation grants, and named endowment funds.