Trojan sisters establish education scholarships

USC Rossier alumnae and sisters Patricia (Patti) Poon and Candace (Candy) Yee and their husbands established last week two endowed scholarships for Rossier students: the James and Candace Chan Yee Endowed Scholarship and the Dudley and Patricia Poon Endowed Scholarship.

The sisters both graduated from the USC Rossier School of Education and went on to become teachers. Poon graduated in 1965 and taught math for 40 years, while Chan graduated in 1968 and received her MS in 1969, according to a press release.

They committed themselves to supporting teachers because, as former teachers, they said they know first-hand the sacrifices young teachers are often forced to make in order to be the best for their students.

“We would go to conferences on the weekends and see these teachers spending their own money for classes so they could do something new and exciting for their students,” Yee said in a release. “They’re paying for their own teaching items and classes because giving to the kids is never-ending. And elementary teachers give so much back to the little kids.”

Poon and Yee are dedicated members of the Trojan family in other aspects as well. The sister are fans of USC sports and say they “bleed cardinal and gold.” In addition to attending as many athletic events as they can, they volunteer at Heritage Hall and donate to both USC Athletics and the Trojan Marching Band.

Yee also runs a blog, Trojan Candy, dedicated to USC sports, featuring profiles of athletes, pictures and commentary on games.

“Most of the time we’re here for all of the sporting activities,” Poon said in a release. “So we started volunteering at Heritage Hall, giving out candy and motherly advice to the athletes, and Candy started taking pictures and interviewing the athletes.”

The Trojan family has become an actual family to the sisters. They said that, as graduates of USC, they feel a responsibility to help support the next generation of Trojans.

“Students are our future,” Poon said in a release. “We’re older so we don’t have any other expenses, but when you’re young, it’s very difficult. That’s why if there is any way you can help, you should support them.”

By supporting the future educators coming out of Rossier, the sisters are hoping to have a much broader impact.

“Our children must be educated and prepared to take over for us in the next generation and beyond, and teachers are the foundation for preparing our children to perform this responsibility,” Yee said in a release. “USC Rossier realizes its responsibility to produce excellent educators, and we are proud to support the school in this goal.”