Highlights of the 2015 Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast
The 16th Annual Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast took place on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington. A record number of attendees – over 1,200 – helped raise the largest amount to date: $3.8 million. It was a huge success!
Co-emcees Mikala Ailep from the University of Washington and Ryan Lim from Seattle University addressed attendees before Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek welcomed guests noting, “This is a great event.” He also publicly applauded Costco Co-founders (and breakfast founders) Jeff Brotman and Jim Sinegal, and welcomed Washington Governor Jay Inslee (via video) who noted: “Every student in this state should be able to achieve their full potential.”
Ana Mari Cauce, UW interim president, greeted the crowd and was followed by Father Stephen Sundborg, SU president. “You are supporting and sustaining, working wonders in the lives of these students,” he said.
Two members of the newest class of Costco Scholars were featured in a video – UW’s Genezaret Quintana who wants to enter the field of biomedical sciences and SU’s Nayeli Cervantes who hopes to parlay her scholarship into an eventual judgeship.
Jeff Brotman recognized longtime CSF supporter and Costco supplier Pharmavite. As Tim Toll, executive vice president of sales at Pharmavite, pointed out, “What makes this business relationship special is when we can get together to change lives.” The video also celebrated the success of former UW Costco Scholar and Pharmavite intern Carlos Estrada Alamo, who now attends Harvard Medical School. “The day I was notified I was able to focus instead of on the burden I would be placing on my family, but on the excitement of getting into university.”
What does being a Costco Scholar mean? Ailep told a touching story of growing up with her grandmother and being the victim of a drive-by shooting. “I focused on school, for it was my peaceful place.” Lim, like many Costco Scholars, is the first in his family to attend college. “It was the realization that all the work I put in … was worth it.”
Rounding out the morning were two Costco Scholar alumni success stories from Justin Fitzpatrick, a 2006 business administration major from UW who runs a successful high end shoe business overseas, and Abraham Romo, a 2006 mechanical engineering major from SU who’s a longtime employee of Puget Sound Energy and a tireless volunteer.
A moving morning of listening to an impressive roster discuss their determination, perseverance, and ultimately, success ended with a big thank you from 2005 UW mathematics major Elese Washines, currently a teacher on the Yakima Indian Reservation, and 2006 SU marketing major Ashley Burns, a marketing account manager in Seattle.
Save the date for 2016: Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA, for the 17th Annual Costco Scholarship Fund Breakfast.