About Jonathan

The Legacy of Jonathan Tarr

Jonathan Tarr

The Jonathan Tarr Foundation was established in 2001 in memory of Jonathan Tarr who died in a tragic auto accident. He was only 17 and would have been a high school Senior. He attended a Continuation High School offering alternative education curriculum. Jonathan was employed as a part-time courtesy clerk at Von’s Companies Stores through a school sponsored Work/Study for Credit program.

He danced Hula and had a love for the ocean and surfing. Jonathan was a competitive soccer and lacrosse goalie. However, the extracurricular activities alone did not define this special young man who had great potential but did not live long enough to fulfill his dreams.

Jonathan's legacy now lives on through the Windows of Opportunity Scholarships provided to middle to underserved students not usually targeted for academic assistance with post secondary education.

About JTF

The Jonathan Tarr Memorial Scholarship Fund was set up in 1998, in memory of Jonathan Tarr who died in a tragic auto accident. The original memorial scholarship fund was to have a four-year life span, 1999 to 2002, to include a total of sixteen scholarships and four youth soccer sponsorships. However, many individuals kept sending generous donations based on the success stories of the determined boys and girls who, against all odds, graduated high school to pursue higher education and leadership opportunities.

About JTF

In 2001, a fully accredited 501 (c )(3) Non-Profit Corporation, was established in order to give donors receipt letters for their current donations that would be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The original memorial scholarship fund now falls under the umbrella of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation and Jonathan’s legacy continues to provide Windows of Opportunity Scholarships and outreach programs to the students of San Diego County and beyond.

We are deeply indebted to the Charter Board Members who embraced the concept and goals of JTF, and lovingly gave of their professional skills, wisdom, treasure and guidance to insure the longevity of,“Recognizing Potential, Rewarding Determination.”

Robin J. Tarr, Founder

Charter Board Members

  • Beth Atuatasi, Attorney at Law
  • Veronica Baker
  • John Chase
  • Denia Chase
  • Tom Cordato
  • Jamie Supinger-Crowley
  • Carolyn Erwin
  • Denise Dudoit Meyer
  • Rodney L. June, MBA
  • Michele Riley, MBA/CPA
  • Dot Saurer
  • Robin Tarr
  • Skip Tarr
  • Garrett Wong
  • Jennifer Ngou, Designed Jonathan’s Window

About Robin Tarr

Robin Tarr

Robin Tarr, Founder of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation

Robin J. Tarr is an active and accomplished San Diego North County resident with a can do/will do attitude to make a difference in San Diego, Imperial and Orange Counties. Her life’s mission was set into place when her son, Jonathan Tarr, died in a tragic auto accident at age 17. Today, the Jonathan Tarr Foundation (JTF) is located in Encinitas, CA. “Recognizing the Potential and Rewarding the Determination” of students graduating from non-traditional and traditional high schools. JTF provides scholarships to a diverse community of students to enhance their success in college, university or professional career programs. 55% are “First Generation” to attend college in their immediate families.

Ms. Tarr completed the UC San Diego Extension Professional Certificate in Fundraising and Development to benefit the future growth and program of Jonathan Tarr Foundation by applying best practices in all aspects of non-profit business management and fundraising methods. Awards include Certificates of Recognition from U.S. Congressional Members, CA State Senators, CA State Assembly Members, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and various School Districts.

Distinguished Proclamations from the California State Senate and California State Assembly were presented to Robin Tarr on February 3, 2018, in honor of her retirement and service of 20 years. The 20 Year Milestones include 500 Jonathan Tarr Foundation Scholarships totaling $400,000 provided to students graduating from 85 high schools, representing 19 school districts in San Diego, Imperial and Orange Counties.

Reva Tahiti Productions and Heiva San Diego honored Robin Tarr with the Life Time Member Award for her outstanding leadership and contributions to the Pacific Islander Community at the First Annual Islands Ball 2017 held in San Diego, CA.

Encinitas Community Spirit Award as a California Senate Resolution, was presented by the Honorable Mark Wyland on behalf of the 38th Senatorial District to Robin Tarr, Founder of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation. Ms. Tarr was recognized for her enthusiasm, commitment and dedication, providing Windows of Opportunity Scholarships to a diverse community of students graduating from San Diego and Imperial County high schools offering alternative education curriculum, including AVID.

Union Tribune San Diego and SDG&E partnered to sponsor the inaugural U-T Young Latino Journalism Scholars Program. Robin Tarr was selected as one of ten San Diegans who have made a difference in their various communities. Alina Gonzalez, Valley Center High School, was paired with a U-T newsroom mentor using state of the art technologies to produce her own written, photographic, and on-line video story about the Jonathan Tarr Foundation, presented in English and Spanish language versions.

KPBS/Union Bank Celebrating Cultural Diversity and Local Heroes of San Diego County. Robin Tarr was chosen to represent Asian Pacific American Heritage Month of May. KPBS enriches the lives of people in the San Diego region through unique media services including radio, TV, Web, and community activities that educate, inspire, entertain and advance civic involvement. Union Bank encourages diversity and a culturally rich environment acting as a financial partner and good neighbor by building, restoring, and investing in the places where we work and live.

COX Communications and Channel 4 TV San Diego recognized Robin Tarr as an outstanding Asian Pacific Islander during Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May, telling the story about Jonathan Tarr Foundation on the weekly Shades of San Diego Show hosted by television personality, Diana Guevarra. This 15 minute segment aired throughout the month of May.

KyXy Channel 92.5 Radio and San Diego County Fair Hometown Hero Award. Robin Tarr, Founder of JTF, received the San Diego Hometown Heroes Award sponsored in part by KyXy Radio 96.5 and the San Diego County Fair at the July 4th Celebrations in Del Mar, for making a difference in the Community.

Soroptimist International Vista - Making a Difference for Women Award for her commitment to empowering graduating high school Seniors receiving the Windows of Opportunity Scholarships. This distinguished award, presented annually by Soroptimist International of Vista, recognized Robin Tarr and JTF whose work positively impacts at-risk girls, inspiring them to lead an empowered and authentic life.

Channel 10 NEWS Leadership Award for December as presented by San Diego weather personality, Jeannie Cavitt. San Diego is a diverse community and 10 News honors those who are working hard to support these efforts. Leaders in this category display many of the following characteristics: Serves an underserved population in San Diego County; Promotes diversity; Fills a community need; Motivates others.

TASK –Youth of Samoa California, presented Robin Tarr the 2008 Humanitarian Award in recognition of her contributions and scholarships to the Samoan Community. "Tupulaga A Samoa"

His Excellency, Fidel V. Ramos, former President of the Philippines, recognized Robin J. Tarr, founder of JTF for her work in targeting Filipino American students for academic success in San Diego County. The National City Public Library was the venue for the public forum and reception following the dedication of Philippines Collection of books and research materials to the library. Five students from the JTF Class of 2007 were introduced to President Ramos. Sponsored by the Filipino American Business Association of San Diego.

Kama’aina Club of Orange County – Hawaiian Civic Group awarded Robin J. Tarr the 2006 Humanitarian Award for recognizing the potential and rewarding the determination of the Hawaiian heritage student population of Southern California. Ohana is the Hawaiian word for Family. Ohana means that no one is left behind. Ohana is everything.

Pacific Islander Festival Association (PIFA) honored Robin J. Tarr as Education Leader of 2005. Ms Tarr is best known for partnering with and guiding PIFA since 1999 to build its own scholarship program benefiting Pacific Islander students who are the pride and future of the Communities of Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia; and serving as a leader and role model for Pacific Islanders everywhere with her kindness, generosity, commitment and dedication.

KSWB TV Channels 5/69 of San Diego featured Robin J. Tarr, Founder of Jonathan Tarr Foundation, as Asian-Pacific Islander of the Year. Video-taped community service segments were aired throughout the month of May featuring the Jonathan Tarr Foundation story. The United States and Canada recognize May as Asian Pacific Islander Month.

North County Times and Californian Publications serving San Diego North County and Southwest Riverside County, recognized Robin J. Tarr as one of ten 2002 Women of Merit. Laurie Brindle, feature writer for the North County Times stated, “Robin Tarr has seen a need and served San Diego Counties with uncommon vision and strength. She has overcome grief and great obstacles to do so. Ms. Tarr has made a difference with her compassion, wisdom and selfless hard work.”

NOTE: Jonathan Tarr Foundation celebrated its 20th Anniversary on Feb 3, 2018. JTF has provided 500 scholarships and $400,000 to students graduating from non-traditional and traditional high schools representing 85 high schools and 19 school districts in San Diego, Imperial and Orange Counties.

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