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Apply for a Youth Scholarship 

The Youth Scholarship Program provides families in need the opportunity to participate in recreation programs, including and most often, swim lessons for children. Funds are raised through the Department’s annual fundraising events, including the Scholarship Golf Tournament & the St. Patrick’s Day 5K, and from individual contributions received from donors throughout the year.

A special note about the program
Over the last several years, the requests for scholarships have increased dramatically. In an effort to provide as many scholarship to the community as possible and to ensure the most critical recreation programs are provided as a priority -- for the time being --Scholarships will be granted for youth swim lessons ONLY. With the abundance of pools, lakes, rivers, creeks and other waterways that exist in Sonoma County, we feel it is incredibly vital to ensure that every child growing up in our community knows how to swim. For families who qualify, scholarship applications are accepted for swim lessons for children and the scholarship amount granted is $28 per child (swim lessons cost $48 and scholarship recipients pay the remaining difference). Three children per family may receive a scholarship.

The 2015 Youth Scholarship Program has closed as Funds have run out for the season. The Scholarship Program will resume again in Spring 2016. We are proud to say that a total of 348 youth received swim lessons through the Scholarship Program this summer. Thank you to all who have donated to the Scholarship Fund, and to those who have participated in our annual Scholarship Golf Tournament or St. Patrick's Day 5K -- fundraising events which support the Scholarship Program. Your contributions are helping teach Santa Rosa children a life-saving skill.

For Santa Rosa families who qualify, Recreation & Parks accepts scholarship applications for swim lessons for youth 18 and under.

Eligibility Requirements: To be eligible for the Scholarship Program families must live within Santa Rosa City limits and/or Santa Rosa City Schools District, and must show proof of receiving at least one of the following:

  1. Social Security Supplemental or Disability Income.
  2. Public assistance through the Sonoma County Human Services Department, i.e., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Food Stamps.
  3. Free lunch assistance through the local schools.
  4. Public assistance through the City of Santa Rosa Housing Authority.
  5. Medi-Cal or Medicare Benefits Card.

How the program works:
Santa Rosa families may receive up to one (1) $28 scholarship per person - per year, with a maximum of three scholarships per household, while funding is available. 

Complete a Scholarship Application and present it in person at one of the Recreation & Parks facilities listed below. When you present your completed application, you will also need to show Recreation & Parks staff the current documentation from the agency which administers your assistance.

Be prepared to register for the class(es) at the time you turn in the application. If the class fee is more than $28, you must pay the balance at the time of registration.

Please note: Scholarship funds may only be used for swim lessons offered through the Recreation & Parks Department. Scholarship funds are not applicable for “drop-in” activities or public swim passes. They are not redeemable for cash. We process scholarships once annually per family, so all registrations must be completed at the time the scholarship is approved.

How to Apply:

Click here to download the application in English.
Click here to download the application in Spanish.

Click either of the links above, fill out the application and bring it to one of the following locations:

Finley Community Center
Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

Finley Aquatic Center 
Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:00pm

Ridgway Swim Center
Mon-Fri 9am-4:30pm

Steele Lane Center
Mon-Fri 8:30am-12:30pm