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Fred and Barbara Borsch are pictured during a reception at St. Augustine’s Church, Santa Monica. Episcopal News file photo

College-bound students in grades 1 – 12 will benefit from a new writing instruction program established by the Neighborhood Youth Association in memory of the late Canon Barbara S. Borsch, diocesan lay leader, and the Rt. Rev. Frederick H. Borsch, fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, both gifted educators and advocates for youth at risk.

A year-round program of after-school skill-building and summer enrichment, the new NYA Barbara and Fred Borsch Writing Workshop has been created in recognition of Barbara Borsch’s early vocation as a high school English teacher and Fred Borsch’s achievements as a theologian, seminary dean, professor, author, and poet. Barbara Borsch died Oct. 14, 2021, at age 84, and Fred Borsch died April 11, 2017 at age 81 having served as bishop diocesan from 1988 to 2002.

“NYA’s new writing workshop focuses on the academic excellence and love of language exemplified by both the Borsches,” said Robert Williams, diocesan canon for common life and president of the NYA board of trustees. “Folded into the enrichment and remediation curriculum will be Barbara and Fred’s student-focused compassion and inspiration, and ongoing gratitude for their longstanding support for NYA; she as president of the Friends Guild, and he as board chairman during his tenure as bishop.”

Contributions to the Borsch Writing Workshop memorial fund may be made online at www.nyayouth.org, or checks made payable to “Neighborhood Youth Association” may be mailed to 1016 Pleasant View Ave., Venice, CA 90291. Gifts will be applied directly to implementation of an expanded writing curriculum, tutoring, and remediation to help students regain grade-level performance slowed by distance learning during the pandemic.

Launching of the new workshop – set to include a modest annual cash award for student excellence – will be among highlights of NYA’s 39th annual Scholarship Benefit, a reception set for 5 – 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades.

All are welcome to share in this gathering that will recognize some 25 NYA students who have applied for more than $90,000 in scholarships to be awarded in the coming academic year. Under the theme “Opening Doors to a Bright Future,” the benefit also will salute NYA’s Class of 2022. Its members have so far received multiple acceptances to some 35 universities including UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, USC, Fordham, Loyola Marymount, the University of Connecticut, Williams College, and the Cal-State campuses. Most NYA high school seniors are the first in their families to attend college.

Tickets, priced at $125 each, may be purchased through the NYA website or by check (address above). Benefit guests are asked to note that this year’s event has been planned in the format of a catered reception and abbreviated program recognizing health considerations as the pandemic slows. The program also will be livestreamed via NYA’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.

An institution of the Diocese of Los Angeles since 1906, NYA is a nonsectarian agency specializing in 100-percent college placement and on-time graduation of high school seniors, with college-prep mentoring and after-school tutoring provided Monday-Thursday. Several Episcopal congregations on L.A.’s Westside are among NYA’s most dedicated supporters.