Xavier Mountain, ’17, Mary Graham Scholarship Recipient, Gives Back
Xavier Mountain, ’17, Sociology Major, is not your typical Pacific senior. On November 5th , Mountain hosted the 4th Annual Great Chief’s Dinner, collaborating with the Mary Graham Children’s Foundation at the Oak Farm Vineyard in Lodi, CA. Mountain, a scholarship recipient himself, wanted to show his appreciation for the support he has received toward his college aspirations. The event raised money for the Mary Graham Children’s Shelter to allocate toward multiple facets of higher learning: events for foster youth pursuing college education or enrollment in a trade school, scholarships, funds for in-school trips or extracurricular activities, and beyond living necessities for foster youth living in the shelter.
To give back, Mountain donated his own art pieces for the foundation to auction off, created the event’s paddle logo, and helped create the event pamphlet. He worked closely with the foundation for nearly a year, understanding it necessary because all funds go to scholarship money for foster youth who plan on pursuing a higher education. In the past, his art has raised from $1,100 to $2,500.
This event, in particular, raised over $75,000. Mountain helped contribute to over one million dollars through which the Mary Graham Children’s Foundation has provided to recipients in donations over the past few years. With over 250 donors in attendance, Mountain mentioned one person in particular; Council Member Susan Lenz of Iacopi, who he credits as not only one of the biggest donors, but also as a strong supporter of Mountain since high school, awarding him his first scholarship.
More honorable mentions should be respectively given to University of the Pacific which helped by purchasing six tickets to the event and being there to support the cause. Specifically, Mountain recognizes Senior Associate Vice President of Student Life, Steve Jacobson. Mountain says of Jacobson that “he has always made it his duty to come up to me during these events to encourage and reassure that my efforts to help the community are not being left unnoticed.” Definitely one of Pacific’s strengths, faculty and staff show much support to our community causes. Mountain expressed that the most rewarding part of the event was being able to serve the donors whom, time and time again, support the foundation. Mountain especially thanked the Mary Graham Children Foundation for providing “the most exceptional experiences for their program recipients that go beyond anything they could ever imagine growing up.” The foundation is especially great, because “they allow foster youth who have successfully transitioned from foster care, such as me, to speak at events about my experiences and success in order to motivate other youth in the system. These events foster (pun intended) interest and opportunities for myself and the other youth to meet members of our local community that we otherwise would never be involved with.”
Editor’s Note : Hosting and participating in the 4th Annual Great Chief’s Dinner will be a highlight of Mountain’s college career, and it is a student highlight that we at The Pacifican fully support and love to share. Congratulations Xavier Mountain, and continue to do great work.
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