The California Wine Grape Growers Foundation (CWGGF) is helping seven high school seniors achieve their goal of a college education by awarding $25,000 in scholarships.
The foundation awards scholarships each year to students whose parents are vineyard employees of winegrape growers.
CWGGF scholarship assistance provides two $8,000, four-year scholarships to any campus in the UC or California State University (CSU) system and four $2,000 scholarships for any California Community college.
Among this year's scholarship recipients was Alberto Macias of Lower Lake High School.
“Our vineyard employees are valued members of our winegrape growing family and it’s gratifying to help their children be able to achieve their dreams of going to college,” said JR Shannon, CWGGF’s chairman.
Scholarship selection is based on financial need, scholastic ability, community involvement, leadership and a 500 word essay.
“The foundation scholarships are definitely a big help to students in these tough economic times,” said Shannon. “Many of these bright and highly-motivated recipients depend on the financial assistance of scholarships to help pay for college.”
Since its creation in 1998, the foundation has awarded $222,500 in college scholarships. Congratulations to this year’s winners:
Four-year scholarship recipients
Cynthia Cervantes, Foothill High School, Bakersfield
Vanessa Nunez, Dos Palos High School, Dos Palos
Two-year scholarship recipients
Jessica Gonzalez, Healdsburg High School, Healdsburg
Leah Groves, Trinity High School, Trinity Center
Alberto Macias, Lower Lake High School, Clear Lake
Irais Morales, Healdsburg High School, Healdsburg
Robert Miller Scholarship
Madison White, of Adolfo Camarillo High School, is this year’s recipient of the Robert N. Miller Scholarship, awarded exclusively to Central Coast students who plan to major in or are currently enrolled in viticulture and enology programs at Alan Hancock Community College or California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). The Miller family established the $1,000 yearly scholarship in 2006 to honor Robert Miller’s memory, his passion for innovation and his commitment to enhance the Central Coast wine growing business.
ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
Foothill High School
Cynthia’s career path is to graduate college with the expertise to become an occupational therapist or a psychologist. “This goal of mine began when I started working in the hospital in Recovery…My perspective about the world changed. I no longer considered it just ‘my world’ but as ‘the’ world in which we all have to work together to help one another.”
Dos Palos High School
Vanessa plans to attend medical school and major in cancer biology, and then later specialize in pediatric oncology. “One of my personal heroes, Michael J. Fox, said ‘Don’t wish for a lighter load, wish for broader shoulders.’ Today, this is the motto I live by. It is easy to sit and complain about what you haven’t been given. But it takes courage to go out and fight for it. And this is what I plan on doing.”
Healdsburg High School
Jessica not only wants a successful career, but also a profession where she can enjoy what she does for a living, so her goal is to become a pastry chef. “With the skills I acquire I hope to open my own bakery. I hope to accomplish my goals for my future, a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Trinity High School
Leah wants to pursue her dreams of working in animal science. “FFA has helped me realize that I love working with animals and it has helped me see what it takes and the challenges I will have to face for the road ahead.”
Lower Lake High School
A traumatic life-event set the course for Alberto’s life and pursuit of a career in nursing. “I realized I want to help take care of people. I want to feel useful and be able to give back to my community. My dream is to work in a hospital setting.”
Healdsburg High School
Irais wants to help Third World countries build schools, libraries and homes, so she is planning to get a degree in Architecture. “I have always wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. There is no better feeling than knowing you just helped someone in a way that no one else bothered to do.”
Robert N. Miller Scholarship
Adolfo Camarillo High School
Madison plans to attend Cal-Poly, San Luis Obispo and major in Viticulture and Enology. “The money I make from my vineyard would…fund research trips around the world so that I can learn more about the different wine regions…in order to better the ever-booming California wine industry.”