Return to Headlines

Evening with the STARS raises thousands for San Juan Unified schools

Shannon Callahan with her elementary school teacher


It was an evening filled with bright stars as the San Juan Education Foundation hosted its annual event, Evening with the STARS, on Sept. 28. Hundreds attended the fundraising event, which was held at Center at 2300. The star-studded affair featured a formal dinner, live music and live an silent auctions, with proceeds going to fund a number of programs across San Juan Unified schools.


The theme for this year was “Empowered Women: Inspiring the next generation.” Four former students of the district were inducted into the STARS Hall of Fame, including:


- Former Google Cloud Chief Operating Officer and Intel Group President Diane Bryant
- Lieutenant Commander Shannon Callahan Souma
- Author Shanthi Sekaran
- Attending physician and Director of Urogynecology Center of San Francisco Dr. Heidi Wittenberg.


During the event, female student leaders representing different schools were able to ask honorees one question each.


Callahan reflected on the impact her teachers had on her during her time in the school district.


“They see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves and they inspire us to be better than we think we can,” said Callahan.


Meanwhile, Wittenberg encouraged students to look for unmet needs when she said, “If you are looking to help people, that’s what’s fulfilling and worth striving for.”


This year the San Juan Education Foundation will focus on funding STEM projects at Greer Elementary, a robotics program for female students at San Juan High School and Reading STARS at Skycrest Elementary.