Integrity Matters Broadcasts

July 11, 2008

Education trumps crime, builds hope, prepares minds and transforms both individuals and communities

Dear Friends: 

Another of our weekly Integrity Matters columns: (Integrity Matters appears weekly in The Californian – Salinas, California - Reward requires an investment.)

A global soft-drink producer is currently using these words in a television commercial to increase the sales of its very own brand: "You give a little love and it all comes back to you."

They generate billions in profits by capturing mindshare, touching human emotions and causing the public to purchase the company's product. So, is it such a big stretch for a local four-year university to "provide encouragement" to first-generation college students - recognizing that our entire community will likely "get a great deal back" - in the months and years ahead? Of course not!

A client taught me, years ago, that "sometimes you have to give before you get." Investment, another way of saying that one has to risk something in order to create returns, comes in many forms, whether money, kindness, time or energy. Regardless, somebody must make the first move.

Just such a program was established in 2007 at the Foundation of California State University, Monterey Bay. Executives-in-Residence has enlisted 120 successful and influential leaders to open doors of hope and possibility for young people who can become tomorrow's leaders. As the director of this program, located on the CSUMB campus in Seaside, my job is to make sure we provide students with insightful counsel - built on personal example and substantive relationships - helping them to understand their potential, establish milestones and pursue life goals.

Executives-in-Residence's Pay It Forward scholarship program instills the spirit of hope and generosity in the next generation by demonstrating that giving back can truly be the greatest gift of all, especially for the giver. The words "pay it forward" are taken from a book of that title which showcases how helping others can create a cascading chain of goodwill and good works.

Pay It Forward goes beyond the traditional arms-length transaction of providing deserving students with financial assistance for higher education by fostering an ongoing, mutually accountable relationship between recipients and leader-mentors. Students are not merely asked for something in return for the support they receive. They are required to "pay it forward" by providing their own service to at-risk youngsters through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monterey County. The goal is to develop confident and enthusiastic young people who gain both the means to complete their education and the tools to make their own contributions to others while simultaneously growing immeasurably as individuals.

Each student chosen to participate in Pay It Forward receives up to $5,000 per year to attend CSU Monterey Bay, distributed in a way that encourages financial responsibility. As an incentive for their service as mentors with Boys and Girls Clubs of Monterey County, they may be eligible for up to $4,000 in additional support through club service.

Mentors and counselors from Executives-in-Residence continue to serve as a safety net for participating students. Throughout their college years, at least once a month, the students meet with adult volunteers to gain inspiration and practical advice. Social and economic integrity are built, one relationship at a time.

Please let us know ways you might help! My contact information: (831) 582-5015.

So, how can our Pay It Forward scholarship program get started most effectively?  As one of our advisors repeats:  “Let’s look around and see  what others have done successfully, and be sure that we are emulating what has already been proven to work and have impact.”  So, we are doing just that!

Listening, learning and building relationships are three critical activities for growing ideas and organizations.  Another of our Advisors passed along to us the story of a somewhat similar program already in its fourth year at Arizona State University.  When we sought advice, this came to us, almost immediately.

On April 16, 2008, USA Today told the story of Marie Tillman, widow of Pat Tillman, pro-football player turned Army Ranger, killed by friendly fire and now the focal point of an educational program at Arizona State University – honoring his memory with a positive and action-oriented foundation, dedicated to helping students be better prepared to “tackle” life’s challenges, beyond the classroom. 

On Tuesday, July 8, 2008, Marie found time to visit with Executives-in-Residence at California State University, Monterey Bay – CSUMB. By way of reminder, Marie discussed her own work at the Pat Tillman Foundation with some of the advisors to the Pay It Forward scholarship program, during and after her luncheon at the CSUMB Visitors and Alumni Center.

Welcoming Marie Tillman to Executives-in-Residence, July 8, 2008

Jim Bracher and Marie Tillman – a powerful woman on a mission 

Listening to Marie Tillman discuss the Pat Tillman Foundation 
How might we accelerate the impact of our Pay It Forward program? 

Jim Bracher, Kevin Saunders, Marie Tillman and Jane Bracher 

CSUMB Vice-President, Jack Jewett, hosting luncheon  - Visitors/Alumni Center

Jack Jewett, Kevin Saunders, Marie Tillman and Jane Bracher 

Paul Baszucki, Dan Ortega, Tim McCarthy, Mike Dorn, Donna Ferraro and Murray Yeomans 

Learning to more effectively implement Executives-in-Residence’s Pay It Forward Scholarship program involves emphasizing that: Education trumps crime, builds hope, prepares minds and transforms communities – one person at a time. 

Board of Advisors:  Pay It Forward Scholarship Committee

Donna Ferraro, Boys and Girls Clubs; Jim Bracher, Director, Executives-in-Residence; Marie Tillman, Pat Tillman Foundation; Dan Ortega. Chief of Police, Salinas, California; Kevin Saunders, Executive Director, Foundation, CSUMB; Mike Dorn, Benefactor/Advisor; and Tim McCarthy, Attorney, Educator, Athletic Commissioner 

We are prepared to share our vision and mission with you, your community and your organization – leveraging five distinct perspectives to extend our reach to more first-generation college students:

  • Law Enforcement:  Education trumps crime
  • Social Service:  Positive role-models transform the world, one person at a time
  • Benefactor: Investing, financially and emotionally, fuels society’s engine
  • Recipient: What the Pay It Forward scholarship means!                     
  • Change Agent:  Parrot, Teddy Bear and “tin cup” – providing opportunities


About the program

Pay It Forward

Getting Involved

Contact us  

Yes, we are eager to offer our Pay It Forward program development assistance to you and your community.  Are you in a position to offer your help to Pay It Forward? 


James F. Bracher  

Dimension Five Consultants, Inc. 
Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership  
P.O. Box 22467

Carmel, California  93922  

And at: 

James F. (Jim) Bracher,  Director

Executives in Residence

Foundation of CSUMB 

California State University Monterey Bay  
100 Campus Center,  

Building 201 - Suite 101

Seaside, California  93955 
Phone:  direct:  831-582-5038

Ruby Sanchez (831) 582-5015 
                        (831) 582-5019 Fax 

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P.O. Box 22467, Carmel, California 93922