English is her second language and first priority

Dana Praitis values the English language and wants to ensure that deserving students have the opportunity to excel.

Dana Praitis – mother of Dr. Irena Praitis, CSUF professor of English – knows the importance of the English language and the necessity of supporting the students who study it.

Originally from Lithuania, Dana left the country with her family during World War II. Unable to get into the United States, the family remained in South America for 12 years. Finally, they came to the U.S. and settled in Nebraska, where a Pendleton factory needed workers. Dana eventually met her husband, and they had four children – all of whom have excelled in higher education and their respective careers.

“I had to learn English all by myself,” said Dana. “So, I know how difficult it is to be well spoken. I am impressed and inspired by people who express themselves well. Really, language is the basis of all knowledge.”

Because of her interest in the English language and her daughter Irena’s dedication to her students, Dana established the JEVID Scholarship for students in the Department of English, Comparative Literature and Linguistics. The scholarship is open to those who meet one or more of the following criteria: demonstrated financial need; first in their family to attend college; an individual or single parent/ head of household; or an individual from an underrepresented group in higher education.

“Everybody needs an incentive to succeed,” said Dana. “If the scholarship gives these deserving students a push, perhaps they will be inspired to help the generation that comes after them. That would be ideal.”

For information about giving to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, please contact Joan Rubio at 657-278-5773.