A Note from the President

Kirsten Yamada
Kirsten Yamada

By Kirsten Yamada

FSAA President

It is a great honor to have recently accepted the Ford Scholar Alumni Association President role to take the place of previous President, Mary Chuinard, who stepped down in January due to a new job opportunity and personal reasons.

This will be my second year on the Board, where I previously held the vice president role and helped to improve our Board of Director’s communication and organization processes, marketing and planning for FSAA events as well as leading the Board in developing a new mission and vision statement. We have an exciting year ahead of us with lots of new developments!

This year, I’m looking forward to bringing back the Board of Director committee groups, such as, the Events, Communications, Development, Fundraising and Finance committees. These committees provide focus groups for our Board members as well as the opportunity for non-board alumni to participate, develop leadership skills and stay connected with other alumni. Stay tuned for the opportunity to join a committee soon!

It has also been a pleasure working together with Bonnie Williams from The Ford Family Foundation Scholarship Office, who is the new Manager of Scholar and Alumni Engagement. Bonnie has been a wonderful resource for FSAA, and we look forward to collaborating with her on upcoming projects and events. Bonnie also has extensive experience in supporting students with career planning and professional development, and we encourage alumni to reach out to her for resources at bwilliams@tfff.org.

Lastly, in case you missed the email in February, the Foundation Scholarship Office and the FSAA announced the long overdue expansion of the alumni association to include alumni of the Ford Opportunity and Ford ReStart Programs. All alumni of these programs are now automatic members of FSAA. We have now grown to more than 3,000 alumni, and FSAA is looking forward to working together as one alumni association.

We can’t wait to see many of you at the July 16 Salishan Alumni Summer Get-Together for a fun family-friendly beach cleanup and potluck, followed by a social event with current Ford Scholars. It is one of my most favorite events, and I can’t wait to see even more alumni attend this year!