A recent news account painted an especially bleak picture for high school and college students who require financial aid. One of eight philanthropic programs of Assistance League® of Diablo Valley, Scholarships continues to answer that challenge. Since 1999, this program has offered financial aid to high school, foster youth, community college, and university students who demonstrate the need and desire to improve their lives by furthering theireducation. 25 deserving students received a total of $86,600 at the May regular chapter meeting. All recipients are Contra Costa County residents, have maintained a 2.8 grade point average, have already given back to the community by participating in service organizations, and have provided a time line for academic and career goals.
Historically, Assistance League of Diablo Valley member volunteers have found this event most inspiring as indicated by the “standing room only” attendance. It was riveting to listen to such personal accounts as disabilities, extreme poverty, years of abuse and neglect,inconsistent achievement, as well as frequent and disruptive foster care placement. And yet, it was enlightening to learn how such adversity helped shape these young men and women who will, in the near future, create innovative business models, become politicalscientists, teach high school math, specialize in pediatric surgery, and promote awareness of global affairs and diversity. The University of California-Berkeley,California State University at Long Beach, University of California Davis, and Westmont College in Santa Barbara, just to name a few institutions of higher learning, will benefit from their attendance.
High School Scholarships recipients are: Julia Murphy, San Ramon High School in Danville; Taylor Crisologo, Las Lomas High School, Vivien Lee and Elizabeth Ellis-Falik, Northgate High School; David Croft, Berean Christian High School (all in Walnut Creek); Ryan Kastigar, Campolindo High School in Moraga; Elizabeth Labib, Concord High School; Matthew Capella, De La Salle High School, AlexisMoore, Ygnacio Valley High School, Jessica Schaffer and Ashton Teague, Mt. Diablo High School (all in Concord); Angela Burton-Cabonce, Alhambra High School in Martinez; David Colby, HerculesMiddle/High School in Hercules; and John Ronald Abad and Joseph Chatham, Antioch High School in Antioch.
Community College Scholarship recipients include: Miccelle Hong, Jacob Evan, Kabria Pervoe, Gerardo Pacheco-Montalvo, Rusian Gurvits, and Latasha Johnson, all of whom attend Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill; as well as Marisela Garcia, who attends Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.
Additionally, Specially-Funded Scholarships, appropriated by individuals and families rather than by the chapter, were awarded to three worthy recipients. The Glen D. Christofferson Memorial Award, designated for community college financial assistance, went to Alea Martin. The Sheila Joseph Memorial Award, designated for women returning to school, went to Lauren Muntasir. Lastly, Mackenzie Ayers was awarded the Mardis Preciado Memorial Scholarship, which is anonymously donated each year to a student of high academic achievement and community involvement. A graduate of Clayton Valley High School, Mackenzie, now attends UCLA.
As one recipient had shared in the biographic information phase of the Scholarships application process, “Nothing can hold me down forever.” Several recipients mentioned that the emotional, as well as the obvious financial support, will sustain them as they actualize their dreams. To learn more about Assistance League of Diablo Valley, visit its website: diablovalley.assistanceleague.org