Strauss Foundation Awards Alyssa Tamboura $15,000 Public Service Scholarship to Carry Out Project in Her Junior Year at UC Santa Cruz

May 14, 2019


The Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation, established as a memorial to the late Don Strauss of Newport Beach and now designed to award $15,000 scholarships to as many as 15 California college sophomores and juniors annually, has announced that among the foundation’s new group of recipients is a UC Santa Cruz student, Alyssa Marie Tamboura.

The Strauss scholarships fund public-service projects that the students have proposed and will carry out during their junior or senior year. Tamboura, who hails from San Jose, CA, has been funded for Walls to Bridges, a project she has independently developed. Walls to Bridges is focused on fostering family communication during and after incarceration through confidential dialogues using restorative justice principles and practices. By breaking down communication barriers and creating safe spaces for teen and adult children and their incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents, Walls to Bridges will seek to mitigate the isolation and stigma created by familial incarceration. The Strauss scholarship will allow Tamboura to further develop and implement this project in Santa Cruz, CA.

Don Strauss demonstrated a strong, life-long commitment to public service and education, reflected by his serving 10 years on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board, and 12 years on the Newport Beach City Council, including one as mayor.

He also founded summer internships in Washington, D.C., for students at Cornell University, Stanford University, the University of Rhode Island, the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College, and he endowed scholarships at Stanford, U.C. Irvine and Harvey Mudd. He died in 1995 at the age of 79.
Strauss’ widow, Dorothy M.R. Strauss, established the foundation in January of 1997 as a “tribute to the vision, ideals and leadership of Donald A. Strauss.” In its first year, the foundation board invited 10 universities to nominate up to three students each for Strauss scholarships, with the board making the final selection of the 10 winners. (Dorothy Strauss saw her vision for the Foundation realized--she phoned each of the 10 first-year winners to notify them personally--before she passed away in October of 1997 at the age of 83.)

In the second year, the Foundation was able to broaden its reach and award 15 $10,000 scholarships—increased last year to $15,000--and now gives 10-15 each year. This represents the Foundation’s 23rd group of recipients—since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 290 scholarships--and like their counterparts in the past, all of these new recipients have extensive records of community and public service, as well as a demonstrated desire to “make a difference.”