Natural Disaster Support Scholarship Fund

Natural Disaster Support Scholarship Fund

Photo Credit: DMT Imaging

River School Elementary School teacher Will Bans established the Natural Disaster Support Scholarship Fund after the Colorado Fire in the Palo Colorado Canyon. Will, who taught many Palo residents at Captain Cooper Elementary in Big Sur from 2012-21, sought a way to recognize students who perpetually face natural disaster–related hurdles and academic setbacks as residents in the outer areas of the Carmel Unified School District. Fires, mudslides, compromised infrastructure, Highway 1 closures, inability to attend CHS and CMS classes in person and uncertainty in the household are all part of their reality. The scholarship is open to any CHS senior whose K–12 experience was impacted by a natural disaster. When $10,000 is raised, the scholarship will reach endowment status through the nonprofit Carmel High School Foundation to fund an annual $500 scholarship in perpetuity. With more donations beyond the initial $10,000 raised, there will be additional scholarships for more students.

The hardest part for me was driving back home after the Carmel Fire. Everything was lifeless. Everything was covered in black. Everything was gone. … The weeks after we came back, my family was living off a generator. The wi-fi was very spotty, making it hard to learn during online classes, and also there was always the loud generator in the background. My sisters and I did the best we could in this situation.” — Class of 2022 recipient Jovanna Martinez

About the Scholarship

The Natural Disaster Support Scholarship awards a student in the Carmel Unified School District a scholarship. The opportunity is open to any Carmel High School senior whose K–12 experience was impacted or set back by a natural disaster.

The scholarship is in part an acknowledgment from the community that our students face challenges to their academics and life unlike other students in California or anywhere else. The students report these are some of the most difficult times of their lives, with multiple hard experiences by the time they graduate high school.

There is only one road to and from school for many CUSD students, and it closes periodically with natural disasters and other problems. But with the scholarship thanks to donations and the MLS Boosters, agents invest in our students’ futures by supporting them on their path to reach long-term goals while agents bolster their own listings to achieve their sales. It’s a win-win. Donate to be part of The MLS Boosters.

MLS Boosters

Will Bans is providing a free, helpful service to local realtors. He will proofread or revise MLS listing descriptions to improve the grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and edit to catch clients’ eyes. Will is a former journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times and covered the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s as a freelancer for If the scholarship cause resonates with realtors, they can make a voluntary contribution to the fund.

The MLS Boosters is a service, a cause, and a group — it lets realtors boost local students by boosting their listings.


Make a Gift

  • To make a gift to the Natural Disaster Support Scholarship Fund, donate directly and securely online here or click on the “Donate Now” button below.

Donate Now

  • Send a check made payable to “Community Foundation for Monterey County” with “Natural Disaster Support Scholarship Fund” in the memo line
    Mail to:
    Community Foundation for Monterey County
    2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940
  • To make a gift of stock or other assets, please contact Christine Dawson, Senior Vice President Philanthropic Services at 831.375.9712 x126.

Donations to the Natural Disaster Support Scholarship Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) are tax deductible.
The CFMC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization,Tax ID #94-1615897.