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Celia's College and Career Center
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. As of the Spring of 2023, SSF has proudly awarded 40 - $1000 scholarships. 

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. Donations added up and the 

match was accomplished at our 2022 Spring Gala.

Because of supply chain delays and cost increases for

construction materials, it became apparent that work

on Celia's Center couldn't happen until the Summer 

of 2023. Thanks to additional fundraising and the 

generosity of donors, the center was completed and

opened as the 2023 school year began.

The Design

John Shirley of Anderson Shirley Architects donated architectural services and designed the new center to occupy the south end of the current library. Celia's Center is 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.  College and Career Center staff occupy the office space so that South students can easily receive assistance with their questions.

The Ribbon Cutting and Opening

The Saxon Success Fund kicked-off the opening of Celia's College

and Career Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on

September 13, 2023. Celia Baculi was honored and cut the ribbon

at the event and surrounded by family, friends and the South

communitySouth Salem students are now using the resources

available in Celia's Center and planning for their future careers

and educational opportunities.

Celia ready to cut ribbon
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