When establishing a memorial scholarship or one for personal legacy, TTCF donors often make two distinct decisions. The first is to create an opportunity for a young person that otherwise would not be available. In today’s world, education costs are only rising, and the average student needs all the help they can get. The second choice a donor can make is to identify an exceptional condition that will define their scholarship award.
The Robert “Fro” Frohlich Memorial Scholarship was established for students demonstrating financial need in ‘pursuing their dream.’ When Alina Rose Sabah’s school counselor told her about the TTCF scholarship in 2014, she immediately applied. For Alina, a North Tahoe High School Student, paying to pursue her dream of becoming a professionally trained chef felt extremely daunting, but nothing was going to stop her.
People spend their whole lives searching for their true passion, but Alina was born into hers. Her mother owned a private catering company and her Lebanese father “could cook better than anyone.” She grew up in the kitchen, and was drawn to the art that neither of her parents had an affinity for: desserts.
“At first nothing worked, but through years of steady application and many disastrous cakes, I found my niche. I got a job at a local bakery and took all the culinary classes offered at school, did five internships at different restaurants and bakeries and knew that culinary school would be next.”
In her scholarship application, Alina’s tenacity drives the words across the page. While other kids made time for play and friends, Alina worked nearly every day; when she wasn’t working or volunteering her culinary skills, she was experimenting with new recipes. Her passion always pushed her to learn, to work, and to secure the future she could taste despite the glaring obstacle of paying for it.
Now attending the Oregon Culinary Institute, Alina has learned more than she ever imagined. When asked about the importance of community scholarships, Alina says that to her they are the only ‘real’ scholarships as all the rest are just entering a sweepstakes. And to the donors who established the Robert “Fro” Frohlich Scholarship that she received?
“Thank you doesn’t even begin to express my gratitude. Their philanthropic nature has made my dream come true. And I would thank them for offering their aid to other students in the past and future as well because I know firsthand how helpful it really is.”
Alina had one other message to express to her community, and to all of the kids and adults out there with big dreams and big obstacles:
“If you can dream it, you can do it. It’s so easy to be terrified of the unknown- college, paying tuition, leaving your nest, new people- but once you actually do it, it all falls together the way it needs to. If finances are stopping you, just tell yourself that it’s really only your mind that stops you. If you have a passion, pursue it. No one else will for you.”
Consider us inspired.
The Robert “Fro” Frohlich Scholarship honors a true Tahoe mountain man adoringly remembered for his audacious spirit, his commanding prose, and his passion to give back to his community through the arts.