Posted inEducation

University Women of Cambria Stays the Course-The Mission is Scholarships

Think SCHOLARSHIPS!  But graduation is not until June, and fall orientation does not start until late August.  What’s the rush?  University Women of Cambria (UWC) is all about scholarships.  While the UWC is not the only local investor in community youth, it is our singular mission.  Note the UWC calendar:

Fall          Fundraising events for scholarships

January    Students complete scholarship applications

February  The Scholarship Committee reads the scholarship applications; follow-up questions generated

March      All-day scholarship applicant interviews along with other donors

May         Scholarship Luncheon 

June         Graduation

While everyone scrambles to make adjustments for the “new normal,” UWC stays the course.  We want to enable qualified local high school graduates to pursue and enjoy higher education.

     It is truly amazing the amount of support that service organizations, art groups, churches, other nonprofits and even individuals in Cambria provide annually to Coast Union and Leffingwell High School graduates.  Thank you notes from scholarship recipients frequently mention that it is not just the monetary support that seniors appreciate, but the affirmation of the community of who they are, what they have achieved, and what they can achieve in the future.

     This vote of confidence by more than their family and friends is very important to them.  Jackie Hogan, who has served on the UWC Scholarship Committee for three years and is currently the Scholarship Committee Chair, has said that she is impressed and frequently humbled by the achievements and challenges shared by the scholarship applicants during the interview process.  A common thread is the student’s desire to go to college for better opportunities and to improve the lives of their families and community. 

     Just to recap—for the Class of 2021, out of 31 graduating seniors, 21 met all the qualifications to apply to a four-year college or university.  The community as a whole awarded 133 scholarships totaling $125,600 to members of this class according to recently retired Coast Union High School (CUHS) counselor Mary Stenbeck.  UWC awarded 10% of those scholarships.  The new CUHS counselor for the local scholarship program Samantha Brossette recently reported that there is an unusual spike in the number of graduates for 2022.  There may be over 50 graduating seniors this year—and the UWC will be ready!

Posted inEducation

Penny Church Named Cambria Historical Society Volunteer of the Year

The Board of Directors of the Cambria Historical Society (CHS) is proud to announce the unanimous selection of Docent/Events Coordinator Penny Church as the CHS Volunteer of the Year – 2021.  Penny joined CHS shortly after moving from Burbank to Cambria with her husband Tony in 2010.

  Penny was immediately attracted to the work of caring for the Heirloom Gardens.  Impressed by the history and mission of the organization, she moved on to serving as a museum docent, taking the training in 2011 to become as knowledgeable as possible to convey facts and fancy to our visitors.  She then  assumed the responsibility for coordinating the assignments of other docents, using her experience as a classroom teacher and work in the English as a Second Language program in the Burbank Unified School District.

     Penny’s talents attracted the attention of CHS Board members, and she was recruited to serve on the Board in 2012.  Participants in the organization’s major events, Heritage Day and Harvest Festival, also were impressed with her energy and creativity and were pleased when she assumed responsibilities as the Events Coordinator in 2013, including making arrangements for the annual Recognitions Banquet.  She has humbly worked without seeking recognition for herself and does not rest on her laurels.

    Penny recounts that it was a dream come true when she could establish regular gatherings in the Museum parlor for the long-awaited Speakers Series and could present local individuals who have unique talents, as well as area notables, including Dan Krieger, Sharon Lovejoy, and Catherine Ryan Hyde.  She works consistently well with her colleagues and the public, and she was credited by Board Secretary Debbie Carolan Koerper for recruiting her as a docent for events and ultimately for the Board.  Penny’s greatest disappointment has been that the Museum had to adopt closures and limit openings due to COVID-19, but she looks forward to when her docent team can return to serve the community in its mission to preserve and convey local history and heritage.

Posted inEducation

A Message from the Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of the cambriaca is looking forward to providing Cambria and San Simeon residents with continued information service in 2022.   The new year has begun with three new members coming on the Editorial Board:  Stephen Beck, Mark Berry, and Kitty Connolly.  Their bylines have appeared on many news articles over the past year.

     Connolly, Berry, and Beck now join the original Editorial Board members Consuelo Macedo, Mike McDonough, and Tom Cochrun in overseeing standards and practices for this local online newspaper.   To help foster a better understanding of the cambriaca, the 2021 Editorial Board prepared an explanatory document titled “Editorial Policy and Principles for the cambriaca” which is reprinted below.

Founder John Rohrbaugh launched the cambriaca as the world entered the era of the Covid-19 pandemic in April of 2020.  In the months since, it has become an online information link to many.  Recently, the appearance of the webpages were improved considerably for readers’ convenience and ease.  In the last quarter of 2021, more weekly local news updates were being composed by a larger number of organizational correspondents, now numbering over 40.  We are now reporting 12-15 news updates in each issue.

     Circulation has grown steadily, as well, although the cambriaca is still unknown to many on the North Coast.  If you find value in the cambriaca, please encourage friends and neighbors to locate this website and even become a subscriber.  Subscribers receive a Thursday morning reminder and link to each new issue.  Subscriptions can be arranged at no cost simply by sending an email request (

     The cambriaca is part of an international trend in community journalism and information.  While the Editorial Board does not intend for the website to be a primary source of news and information, we hope to continue the development of a supplemental source of important community information in 2022.