Mason Buck, Carr Fire Scholarship Recipient: ‘I live in a great community’

Last fall ANC raised $5,300 in its first online Carr Fire Scholarship auction to benefit graduating north state seniors who’d lost homes in the Carr Fire during the summer of 2018.

In the spring of 2019, the ANC Carr Fire Scholarship committee –  comprised of myself, Eleanor Townsend, Anita Brady and Joanne Lobeski Snyder – selected five students from the applications we’d received.

Eleanor Townsend and I shared the honor of presenting five $1,000 scholarships to five worthy recipients during year-end high school award ceremonies. The recipients are: Daisy Brummer and Sophie Bunton from Shasta High School, Madison Morton from Central Valley High School, Justin Matties from U-Prep High School, and Mason Buck from Foothill High School.

Join me today in welcoming Mason Buck to ANC.

Q: Hi there, Mason. I can imagine you’ve had a busy summer, so thanks for taking the time to chat here with me today on ANC. First, congratulations on being a recipient of ANC’s first Carr Fire Scholarship.

To start, how’s your summer been since you graduated?

Summer has been great since graduation. I’ve mostly been working at In-N-Out. I try to spend a lot of time with friends, because most of them are going to be leaving for college.

So you’ve graduated high school. Is there anything you’ll miss about high school? Anything you won’t miss?

I’ll miss the sports. I played football and baseball in high school and most of my life. It makes me sad that I’ll probably never play another competitive game in either sport.

Well, I hope it’s not true that your competitive sports days are over. It sounds like you really enjoyed them. My hunch is that you’ll find a way to continue sports for much of your life.

Mason, If you could do a high-school do-over, what would you do differently?

Relax more. I feel like I was always stressed out making sure that my grades were perfect.

Q: Your hard work paid off, but I understand what you’re saying about the stress. Maybe you can relax a little more as you enter college. Which reminds me, what’s your academic plan for the fall?

I’ll be attending Shasta College in Redding. Starting August 19th.

Q: Wow. That’s coming up! For what it’s worth, I attended Shasta College for two years, had some great instructors, and have fond memories of my time there before I transferred to CSU, Chico. I hope you’ll enjoy your time at Shasta College, and are able to take advantage of all it has to offer its students.

Mason, of all goes according to your hopes and plans, how do you see things progressing the next few years for you?

If everything goes according to plan, I will transfer to Oregon University after two years of Shasta College. There, I will continue my journey with the hopes of earning a career in sports marketing.

Q: Sports marketing sounds interesting, and pretty specific. So in your perfect world, what would be your dream job some day?

When I was little I always wanted to be a professional baseball player. Now that I’m older and realize that probably won’t happen, I’m going to try to be a sports marketing manager. It’ll allow me to make a honest living, while still being connected to something I’m passionate about.

Q: I have no doubt that with your passion for sports, you’ll be excellent in anything you choose that’s related to sports.

Mason, the reason I’m talking with you today is that we’ve reached the 1-year anniversary of the Carr Fire that took your home. I speak on behalf of myself and everyone at aNewsCafe.com when I say that we are so sorry for your loss. Although some of our ANC family did lose homes to the Carr Fire, I personally can’t imagine what it was like for you and your family.

Is there anything you want to say about how you’ve changed since the fire, or what you’ve learned about life or people or yourself since then? And please, if you’d rather skip this question, that’s absolutely fine.

I can’t really say that I’ve changed that much since the fire. If there’s one thing, it probably is that I’m a little bit more outgoing than before. I used to just sit around in my room, but now I’m going out with friends, and life has been great! One thing that the fire has taught me, is that I live in a great community. It was amazing to see everyone come together and help those affected.

Q: You’re right! It was amazing to see the community pull together, and I’m glad you were able to see that, too.

Mason, we chose you and the other four Carr Fire Scholarship recipients for a reason; because we believe in you, and are rooting for you. We created the Carr Fire Scholarship so that we could bring some joy and encouragement to young people who’d lost their homes to the Carr Fire. We believe that fire can destroy a lot, but it can’t touch your hopes and dreams. I’m delighted to see that your hopes and dreams remain well intact.

We hope every so often you’ll check in with us, and let us know how you’re doing, OK?

In the meantime, is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’d like to thank everyone that made this possible. You guys have helped out so much!

You are so very, very welcome, Mason. Thanks so much for taking time to chat today. Best wishes for a wonderful first semester at Shasta College. Try not to stress! And feel free to check back in with us any time.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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9 Responses

  1. Avatar erin friedman says:

    Great to read about Mason and his plans. I’ve always thought that Shasta College was a terrific campus for starting the higher education journey – just the right size, and filled with instructors who are connected to our small, caring community. Congratulations, Mason — best wishes to you.

    • I agree with you about Shasta College, Erin. It’s a fantastic community college with some awesome programs and services. It’s a perfect springboard for kids getting launched into their higher education.

  2. Avatar Eleanor Townsend says:

    Well, this brought a little tear to my eye. I got to present the award to Mason at FHS, and he was SO happy and appreciative! All smiles and excitement!! Thanks to everyone at ANC for making this happen for him. Especially you, Doni, (and of course, Deb, for starting it with the Phoenix!) for all the good work you put into making this perfect, as you always do.

    • Well, Eleanor, I am so grateful to you and our scholarship team for helping with this process, and making the difficult choices of who to select. No wonder you feel especially emotional over Mason, since you had the honor of presenting him with his award.

  3. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Congratulations, Mason, and thanks, Doni, for this interview so that ANC readers are introduced to Mason. He is obviously a perfect recipient for one on the scholarships. And now, as I understand it, tuition will be free at Shasta; so this money will go a bit farther for him. I look forward to the next four interviews – and to the next auction.

    • He IS a perfect recipient.

      And regarding the Shasta College tuition, as you know, tuition is just one of many college expenses: gas, books, activity fees, etc. I’m delighted that Mason has ANC’s contribution to help in any way possible to further his education.

  4. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    This just felt so good to read, on so many levels! Congratulations, Mason!

  5. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    Congratulations to ALL!! To Deb for the original germ of an idea; for Doni for taking that seed and running with it; and to every member of our ANC community had a proverbial finger in the proverbial pie. THAT is what makes a great community.
    And welcome to mixed metaphor 101!!
    Congratulations Mason!!

  6. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    What a great interview with this amazing young man. He has a sound plan for his life. Good luck Mason!