On Tuesday, December 21, the Saxon Success Fund held a naming ceremony for the College and Career Center upgrade that is set to be completed by 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.
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 actively taking donations either through checks at Saxon Success Fund, 1910 Church St., Salem, 97302, or on our saxonsuccessfund.org 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.