Application deadline is March 16, 2018

CAWG Foundation Awards $30,000 in Student Scholarships

Posted by on May 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO – The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Foundation has awarded $30,000 in college scholarships to 10 students. The scholarships are awarded annually to students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.

“We are honored to provide scholarships to these incredibly deserving and talented students, many of whom have overcome challenges in their lives,” said J.R. Shannon, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. “We commend them for how much they have accomplished academically and with extracurricular activities, community service and work. Our vineyard employees are valued members of our winegrape growing family, and we are pleased that we can help their children achieve their dreams of a college education.”

Each year the CAWG Foundation board selects at least seven recipients from high schools throughout the state. Scholarship selection is based on scholastic ability, financial need, community involvement, leadership and a 500-word essay. Since the program’s inception in 1998, the foundation has awarded $403,000 in scholarships. Funds are raised through the generous donations of members of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and the California wine community.

The four-year scholarships are $8,000 each for students attending a University of California or California State University campus. Two additional $2,000 scholarships were awarded to high-caliber applicants who had tremendous financial need. The two-year college scholarships are $2,000 each for students attending a California community college.

The Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship was created by the family of Bob Miller, a California wine industry leader who helped establish the Central Coast as a leading winegrape growing region. The scholarship invests in the future of Central Coast students who want to pursue a career in the region’s winegrape industry. It typically provides $500 for a student attending Allan Hancock College and $1,000 for a student attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This year, scholarships were awarded to two Cal Poly-bound students.

2017 CAWG FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Four-Year University Scholarship Recipients / $8,000 each

Sandy Garcia, King City, King City High School

Guadalupe Hernandez, Terra Bella, Porterville High School

 Four-Year University Scholarship Recipients / $2,000 each

Carolina Ramirez Moreno, Arvin, Arvin High School

Juan Toscano, Napa, Napa High School

 Two-Year Community College Scholarship Recipients / $2,000 each

Damaso Anaya, Parlier, Parlier High School

Jacob Crocker, Plymouth, Amador High School

Alvaro De Jesus, Napa, Napa High School

Julianna Lorente, Soledad, Soledad High School

Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship Recipients / $1,000 each

Jocelyn Alvarez Arredondo, Santa Maria, Santa Maria High School

Wyatt DeBusk, Paso Robles, Atascadero High School

ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS

As part of the scholarship application, students are required to submit a 500-word essay about their lives, achievements and goals. Below are excerpts from their essays.

Sandy Garcia, King City, King City High School

Sandy has balanced a demanding load of school, extracurricular activities, work and community service. At school, she is the prospective valedictorian and was a valuable member and leader in clubs and four sports teams. She has donated more than 100 hours to her community, including as a girls’ soccer team coach. Sandy, who is the first in her family to attend a four-year university, would like to become a doctor, dentist or health   professional that will allow her to share her knowledge of nutrition and health. “Receiving this scholarship would place me one step closer to achieving my dream and helping my community.”

 Guadalupe Hernandez, Terra Bella, Porterville High School

Guadalupe grew up in an impoverished town where education was not a priority for many students. But her family valued education and instilled in her a strong work ethic that was the foundation of her motivation to succeed. Guadalupe has worked as a student aid teacher for two years, and that further strengthened her desire to become a teacher. “I hope to become a teacher so that I can share with other students my appreciation for learning and convey to my pupils that attending school is one of the first stepping stones toward a better future.” Guadalupe plans to major in liberal studies or English at a four-year university.

Carolina Ramirez Moreno, Arvin, Arvin High School

Carolina moved to California from Mexico with her family when she was 12 years old and wanted to learn English. Despite challenges – taking lower level middle school classes, her parents moving back to Mexico for two years and her father’s health issue – she persevered. She plans to double major in Spanish and international relations, with a minor in Chicano/a studies. After obtaining a doctoral degree, she wants to return to Arvin to work with migrant students and start a nonprofit to help students. “My story is one that shows my strengths and how a migrant student can be successful with effort and help from people that believed in her.”

Juan Toscano, Napa, Napa High School

Juan is a hardworking individual who has overcome many barriers in life. At a young age, he lost all motivation after his mother passed away from cancer. He eventually decided to make a change, set high standards and honor her memory with outstanding academic performance. Juan has been a California Scholarship Federation member for four years, created a club to raise funds for cancer patients, volunteers for the Napa Boys and Girls Club and is a bilingual tutor. “My parents are immigrants who did not speak English or graduate high school. This motivated me to be the first to attend a four-year university in pursuit of a civil engineering degree.”

 Damaso Anaya, Parlier, Parlier High School

Damaso knows the importance of learning. He was born in California, but moved to Mexico for several years and consequently fell behind in learning English. Despite having to re-learn the language when he returned to California in ninth grade, he became an accomplished high school student who was involved in several school clubs and community service. Damaso plans to attend a two-year college, transfer to a four-year university and pursue a career as a Spanish teacher. “This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of becoming a teacher and giving back to my community by helping their children achieve their dreams.”

 Jacob Crocker, Plymouth, Amador High School

Jacob’s father was diagnosed with cancer last year and it had a huge impact on his life. Watching his father’s treatment process inspired Jacob to pursue an education and career in nursing. Jacob pushed himself in high school by taking rigorous courses, being involved in many extracurricular activities and contributing more than 150 hours of community service. He plans to attend Cabrillo College and eventually earn a bachelor’s degree and graduate degrees in nursing. The scholarship will be helpful since “my brother and I are both responsible for paying for the majority of our college education.”

Alvaro De Jesus, Napa, Napa High School

Alvaro came to the U.S. from Mexico at a young age seeking better opportunities. His parents still live in Mexico, but other family members have supported him here. Alvaro started working in the fields when he was 13 years old and started high school a few years later. Despite enrolling with zero credits, not knowing English and dealing with challenging classes, Alvaro persevered. He is the first in his family to graduate from high school. Alvaro plans to attend Napa Valley College, transfer to UC Davis or Sonoma State, pursuing a degree in agriculture or culinary arts. “My parents have always encouraged me to do my best because education is the most rewarding gift anyone could have.”

Julianna Lorente, Soledad, Soledad High School

Julianna is a diligent student with ambitious goals who values the opportunity of pursuing a higher education. She feels that her consistent dedication to her studies, extracurricular activities and community service has greatly increased her chances of future prosperity. She credits FFA for helping her improve her communication and leadership skills. Julianna plans to attend Hartnell College, then transfer to Cabrillo College for its dental hygiene program. “Receiving such a generous scholarship would mean the world to me as it would lighten my financial burden and therefore ensure my success in…obtaining my degree.”

Jocelyn Alvarez Arredondo, Santa Maria, Santa Maria High School

The daughter of immigrants, Jocelyn credits FFA for helping her and changing her life. During her four years in high school, FFA provided her with numerous leadership, learning and competition opportunities. She was involved with judging teams and speaking competitions and took agriculture classes. Beyond FFA, she was on the tennis team for four years and has been involved in community events. Jocelyn will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo majoring in wine and viticulture. “I hope to be interning in a winery while going to Cal Poly. I want to hopefully in the future have my own winery and start a wine business.”

Wyatt DeBusk, Paso Robles, Atascadero High School

Wyatt has a strong work ethic. Since 2012 he has spent summers working in the winegrape industry and throughout high school was involved with two sports and FFA. His FFA experiences have included showing and judging animals throughout the U.S., serving as an officer and participating in many community service projects. “My success with showing 4-H and FFA projects has taught me that the harder I work at something, the more likely I am to succeed.” Wyatt plans to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo majoring in viticulture and enology. After college, he hopes to be a vineyard/winery owner and expand his grandparents’ operation.

About the California Association Winegrape Growers Foundation

The CAWG Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that awards scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. For more information, visit www.cawgfoundation.org.

 Contact:

  • John Aguirre, CAWG President, 916-379-8995, john@cawg.org