By Rob Underhill
The idea of setting up a Community Foundation trust came from a family conversation one night. We had been giving to various charities over time and we had reached a point where we wanted to bring our only son Cameron into the conversation and give him the experience of how great it feels to give.
We started the Underhill Hartlein Family Fund and added investments to it over the years before we actually stated to deploy to our interests. After a few years, my wife, Kim took a big interest in female STEM students. She graduated from engineering school over 30 years ago and at the time there was only a handful of females who graduated. So, this is how we merged our interest with the efforts of the Community Foundation and the passion in our family.
For the last four years we have been giving an annual scholarship to one female student at Mater Dei High School who plans to attend a four-year science program. Our first scholarship recipient just graduated this past May. The letters from the students have been heart-warming and in some cases made the difference between going to school or not.
The merging of giving and our family passion has been a wonderful experience and has shown our son that giving is an important part of life. The Community Foundation has been a great partner in helping to facilitate all the details. We just need to get started and they handled the rest.
Through the generosity of people, businesses and organizations passionate about helping students achieve their education dreams, we have more than $1 million in scholarships available each year to students from 60 schools, available for high school seniors, college and nontraditional students and K-12 art and music camps and lessons. See the Scholarship Recipient List for 2020 – 21, and apply online for scholarships here.