By Nancy Gutierrez
Janette Saldana, 12, the one millionth member of Start Something, a curriculum for after school programs, is now featured on the cover of a book about the program, written by Tiger Woods' father Earl Woods.
The book is used in starter kits for the aftershool program and given to every school in the country with an after school program that utilizes the curriculum.
Saldana received 16 copies of the book in the mail two weeks ago, along with a check for $3,000 from the Start Something program. Saldana had applied for a scholarship through Start Something, and without prior notice of being chosen as a recipient, received her award in the mail. The check is sponsored by Target and the Tiger Woods Foundation. One stipulation upon receiving the award was that Saldana must use the funds on an activity that will aid in achieving her future career goal of becoming an architect.
"It was a wonderful and unexpected surprise," STARS program director Norma Irwin said.
Saldana competed against students from across the country for the scholarship. She will use the money to participate in the Emagination Computer Camp, a program that combines technology with the activities of a traditional summer camp.
"I was looking for something that had computers and sports," Saldana said.
Irwin said Saldana found Emagination on her own by searching through the Internet for camps that had both types of activities. During Saldana's stay she will have the opportunity to learn about Web design, game design, animation, and digital photography. She will also gain skills in PC building, robotics, and rockets while also exploring how to program software.
"I want to be an architect so learning about computers will help me," she said.
Saldana knows that participating in the camp will bring her one step closer to accomplishing her goal. The Emagination camp is held in Massachusetts and costs close to $2,000 to attend. But with the scholarship money from Start Something, Saldana doesn't have to worry about how she will finance the trip.
Start Something has also helped Saldana work side by side with local architects when she helped to create a landscape design model for the Sweetbrier project in downtown Lindsay.
"The fact that she has set goals for herself is inspiring and it can encourage her friends to set and work toward their own goals," Irwin said.
To find out more about Start Something go to www.target.com/startsomething.