Blair Moss, Chief Executive Officer
Prior to Desert Scholarship Foundation, Blair was a Development Professional for 8 years, creating fundraising and marketing programs to help the homeless and less fortunate in the Coachella Valley.
A proud graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with focus on planning events and weddings, never did she dream she would dedicate her work to helping those in need. While in San Diego planning private and large scale sporting events at Qualcomm Stadium, Blair felt called to help the people of San Diego who were living in tents on the streets. Inspired by the growing work that was already taking place in downtown San Diego, she reached out to Father Joe’s Villages. Father Joe Caroll, President Emeritus of Father Joe’s Villages in San Diego, was an inspirational mentor. Blair devoted six years of her career to helping Father Joe fundraise to clothe, shelter, educate and provide care for the homeless in San Diego (Father Joe’s Villages) and Coachella Valley (Martha’s Village and Kitchen).
She continues to engage in the community, an active Parishioner at Sacred Heart Church and serves on the Parent Board at Sacred Heart School in Palm Desert where her two young boys attend.
As a first generation college graduate, Mother of two young boys, and proud wife, Blair understands how important education is to opening doors to better one’s future. Blair joins us to provide energy, organization and creativity to manage educational scholarship programs that give our community the gift of a brighter and successful tomorrow.
Board of Directors
Sandra Young, The Quarry at La Quinta
Chair, Desert Scholarship Foundation
Sandi Young’s life has been driven by her desire to have an effect on the people around her. Passionate and full of new ideas for change, she got a job in the marketing department where she rose to Vice President of Marketing for Hostess and introduced the concept that became the famous Hostess Mini Muffins.
At the height of her professional success, she decided to take a step back and refocus on the people around her- both her family and the children at St. Louis Children’s Hospital where she began to volunteer. Working there, Sandi found a new and deeply powerful purpose- to redirect her energy and insights from the corporate world to the world of helping others. After moving to California, she became involved with the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission to improve the lives of the homeless in our community. Then she went on to be an active Board Member for the CADIE Project, funding an orphanage and working to expand educational opportunities for orphans in Rwanda. Sandi actively supports organizations that tackle challenges associated with international child trafficking, healthcare, the arts, education and clean water.
She continues to engage in strategic companies that can benefit from her business skills and that align with her social beliefs such as Shakti Warriors, a children’s empowerment curriculum delivered through the public school system using an entertaining digital platform, and Starkey Hearing Foundation, who gives the gift of hearing to people all over the world who experience hearing loss.
John W. Hopkins, Tradition Golf Club
Secretary, Desert Scholarship Foundation
John lives in La Quinta and Tiburon, CA. He earned his degree from the University of Washington School of Engineering. After college, he proudly served in the United States Air Force. Hopkins is a founding partner of O’Donnell, Hopkins & Partners, Inc., a West Coast Industrial and Office Development Firm.
In past years, he has sat on the boards of several for profit and non-profit organizations. Presently, he is Director of the Tradition’s Arnold Palmer Education Fund where he has served since it’s inception.
Debra Clark Dixon, CGC Accountants & Advisors
Board Member, Desert Scholarship Foundation
Debra attained her CPA status in 1991 while working as a Staff Accountant with Dennis Godecke Accountant, Inc. and raising two children. Originally hired by Dennis in 1982, she began her focus in public accounting while obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Financial Accounting from National University, which she earned in 1989. She has lived in the Coachella Valley since 1968, and began her lifelong love of accounting working privately for Denholm Seed Co. and Denson Realty. In 1997, in recognition of her contribution to the firm, the name was changed to Godecke Clark.
Debra has a talent for business and computer consulting and is gifted with an ability to focus on and solve a wide variety of accounting and management problems. Debra’s passion is assisting small business owners in implementation procedures to enhance their business performance.
In addition to her many accomplishments, Debra has performed duties as a court appointed receiver, Women Leaders Forum speaker and lecturer for public organizations on tax law and other business-related topics.
Kristin Tierney, George Washington Charter School
Board Member, Desert Scholarship Foundation
Kristin Tierney is a lifelong resident of the Coachella Valley, and a proud graduate of Palm Desert High School. After attaining her Bachelors of Arts in Communications, at UC Davis, she was drawn back to her beautiful desert community. She quickly found her passion in teaching elementary students and furthered her education at Chapman University where she received her California Teaching Credential, and a Master’s Degree in Education.
After a few years in the classroom Kristin decided to return to Chapman University to gain two Special Education Teaching Credentials with focuses in both Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe education. She has taught at several Distinguished Schools amongst the Desert Sands Unified School District. Kristin also enjoys being a trainer for the Riverside County Office of Education, leading in-service trainings throughout Riverside which focus on teaching educators effective classroom strategies. Desert Sands Unified School District named her 2017-2018 Elementary Teacher of the Year. In addition, the local news channel, KESQ, previously presented her with the Golden Apple Award for her dedication and focus on her students’ academic growth.
Although she is accomplished in her field, her greatest life achievement is getting to be the mother of two beautiful girls, and a supportive Fire-wife to her local Fire Captain. As a family the Tierney’s pride themselves on giving back to their community. Kristin is eager to share her love of learning and appreciation of education.