Celia's College and Career Center
How We Got Here
When the Saxon Success Fund initially formed in 2019, two main goals were determined as initial priorities: providing scholarships for South Salem High School seniors and creating an enhanced College and Career Center on the first floor by the Library. The global pandemic brought challenges for SSF hosting fundraising events, but we still were able to award scholarships in 2020 and 2021, totaling 17 - $1000 awards.
Naming the Center
On Tuesday, December 21, 2021, the Saxon Success Fund held a naming ceremony for the College and Career Center upgrade that is set to be completed during the summer of 2022. Celia Hyman Baculi was honored as the name "Celia's College and Career Center" was unveiled.
Celia has worked tirelessly for years to make a positive impact in the lives of students in the Salem area. As a bilingual volunteer, she spent countless hours reading and sharing her love of books with both English and Spanish speaking children at Richmond Elementary. She provided books to school libraries, greatly increasing the selection of books in Spanish.
At South, Celia was a regular fixture in the Aspire Center, the precursor to the current College and career Center. As a volunteer, she guided many first generation high school grads and college attendees through the college application process. Many thought she was employed by South because of the many hours she provided to students and families.
In addition, Celia would hear of students who were at risk of dropping out and she would work to find them and bring them back to school. More than one student has a high school diploma thanks to these efforts.
Funding the Center
An anonymous gift of $75,000 and a challenge by
the donor to the Saxon Success Fund Board to
match that amount led to the college and career
center upgrade that will become a reality this
summer. We are hopeful that we will receive
donations to equal the match at our 2022 Spring
Gala on April 2. We are actively taking donations
either through checks at Saxon Success Fund,
1910 Church St., Salem, 97302, or here on our
website by clicking the donate button. Please
specify your gift "in honor of Celia Baculi."
John Shirley of Anderson Shirley Architects is donating architectural services and has made initial plans and pictures of the new center, which will occupy the south end of the current library. Though the design will likely be adapted as we move toward finalization, the concept of an open, light-filled area, with a conference room and smaller offices to allow for both larger college or business visits as well as space for one on one interviews.