Recently the Rotary Club of Novato recently awarded $14,000 in scholarships to deserving graduating high school seniors.
Steve Delahunty, chair of the club’s Scholarship Committee, kicked off this year’s local Rotary Scholarship Awards presentations. This is a hands-on committee that interviews and picks the winners for the Club to help them further their education, encourage a continuation of their good works, and define the type of future Rotarian they hope they will one day become.
They had a wonderful group and every one of them was an outstanding selection. They indeed represent others before self.
The students receiving awards were:
Jessica Arango, San Marin High School, first place ($2,500): Jessica graduated with a 4.16 grade point average and is a promising student who has a genuine passion for learning. She has an amazing intellectual maturity and her curiosity is off the charts. She has been a life member of the California Scholarship Federation, a Peer Tutor for San Marin High School program, member of Interact Club and participated in various other community activities resulting in numerous awards. In addition, she worked a summer internship at Novato Community Hospital. Jessica plans to attend UC Berkeley and major in Biology or Public Health. She enjoys running, martial arts, reading, and volunteering.
Brittney Edmondson, Novato High School, Tom Winner Scholarship ($2,000): Brittney is an exceptional young woman, who is motivated to go far in life and is willing to work hard to get there. She has given her time and energy as a youth leader for LIFT-Levantate and is committed to creating a positive change in Marin County by teaching children about nutrition and helping them to make healthier decisions. She has helped with a running group of girls who range in age from nine to eighteen and has helped mentor young people, like herself, who lack family support and who are on the verge of becoming part of the juvenile justice system. This young woman has strived to move her grade point average from zero to a 3.00 along with participating in thoughtful community service. She will accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
Ana Camara-Flores, San Marin HS, second place ($2,000): Ana is the kind of student who inspires teachers to keep on teaching. She has the potential to make a real difference in the world. It’s hard to keep up with Ana’s volunteer activities and awards, including the Heart of Marin award in Teen Project Services. Ana also participated in a non-profit summer program called 10,000 Degrees, a program that supports higher education for students whose goal is to positively impact the local and the global community. She plans to attend Sonoma State University and plans to be a therapist. Her hobbies include photography, reading, hiking, and working.
Megan Franz, San Marin HS, third place ($1,500): Megan is ambitious, genuinely interested, and hard working. Megan has volunteered in La Mision, Mexico, building houses and taking care of orphans, sick residents, and animals. She has also traveled to Jinotega, Nicaragua, to help that community through the Global Glimpse leadership program. She plans to attend the University of California-San Diego, majoring in medical and/or social services. She enjoys sports, art (including painting, drawing, and collage), hiking, traveling, and meeting new people.
Shani Boyd, San Marin HS, honorable mention ($500): Shani is a young woman of quality, dedication, compassion, and intelligence. This past summer, Shani was selected to attend a three-week immersion program and traveled in and around Esteli, Nicaragua, with one of her teachers, learning, serving, and participating. She is ready to take on difficult future challenges with confidence and grace. Her goal is to become a U.S. diplomat and serve our country. She will be attending the International Studies program at the University of Pacific College. Her hobbies include reading, coaching, running track, and playing soccer.
Chris Gorman, of San Marin HS, honorable mention ($500): Chris graduated with a 4.16 grade point average and received a $1,000 National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete award. His main goal is to earn Bachelor of Science degree in ecology, evolution, and biodiversity from UC Davis. He would really like to find a job doing research in the field, possibly somewhere in the jungles of Central America, studying populations of endangered animals; and would especially love to help Cuban crocodiles in their breeding programs, to help bring them back from the edge of extinction. He was the recipient of the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award. Chris enjoys football, baseball, basketball, visiting zoos, spending time with friends, and would love to someday start a family of his own.
Ruthe Huang, of San Marin HS, honorable mention ($500): Ruthe graduated with a 4.35 grade point average and is a hardworking, focused, and almost driven individual. She was Co-President of the California Scholarship Federation and has held board positions for the four years she has been a member. Ruthe is interested in a career in global health, perhaps in foreign service or biostatistics. She worked an internship at the Buck Institute of Research on Aging and has volunteered for numerous organizations. She enjoys art, painting, drawing, music, plays the flute and piano, and plays tennis and golf. Ruthe will be attending Johns Hopkins University.
Luke Heslip and Claudia Magana, both of NOVA Independent Study were recipients of $500 Scholarships.
Luke is exceptionally conscientious about his education and has consistently maintained a high GPA during his high school career. He has also taken two classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and will be graduating from NOVA a full year early. Luke has advanced writing abilities and enjoys writing short stores and can very easily turn a phrase in a poetic manner. In addition to Luke's academic achievements, he has an evolved sense of community, and has enjoyed volunteering as a Walker Creek Counselor for two consecutive years.
Claudia is a beautiful, sweet, charming, and motivated young lady. She has faced tremendous personal obstacles in her young life, but has worked incredibly hard to succeed despite these hurdles. She has done exceptionally well at NOVA, and has continued to pursue dance at San Marin and work at the City of Novato's Gymnastics Center. Next year she plans to attend community college in Santa Barbara, and we are confident that she will do very well there. Claudia is very interested in helping others, and we believe that she will have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of those she touches.
Cristan Shermantine and Orlando Zepeda, both of Marin Oaks High School, were also recipients of $500 Scholarships.
Cristan is a very responsible young woman with a positive attitude and commitment to serving others. During her last two years of high school, Cristan has worked tirelessly as a peer educator with the Novato Community Diabetes Project, teaching younger children about the risks of Type 2 Diabetes and how to lead healthy lives. She graduated from Marin Oaks High School in March, and has been working full-time at West America Bank in Mill Valley. She plans to attend De Anza College in the fall, where she will pursue a nursing degree.
Orlando is a dedicated, conscientious, and a natural leader in his community. Among other responsibilities, he has served as a student representative on the Novato Unified School District Board of Trustees, has volunteered weekly as a mentor in two elementary schools, and served as the Editor of the yearbook. Orlando received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and attended the RYLA camp this past spring. Orlando works at Sol Food in San Rafael, and plans to attend Santa Rosa Junior College in the fall, where he will begin earning a degree in social services. He plans to pursue a career working with children.
Michael LaScala, of San Marin HS, is the recipient of the Russ & Kathy Ketron Scholarship ($1,000): Michael is truly an outstanding individual, a true leader, and self starter. He has participated in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, helped to promote the schools art programs and promotional events, participated in science fairs at elementary schools, and goes to speaking events to talk about San Marin High School and the AVID program, which promotes advanced education and the skills required to get there. He was a member of the Patriotic Club and promoted patriotism inside and outside the school. He enjoys music and playing the guitar, volleyball, longboarding, and mountain biking. Michael plans on attending UC Santa Cruz and would like to have a career in business.
Maria Gabriela Garcia Hernandez, Shannon Casey, and Maya Stevens, all from San Marin High School, were recipients for the Bill & Adele Jonas Memorial Scholarship.
Maria is an excellent student who exhibits leadership, dedication, and enthusiasm towards learning. She is always responsible and willing to lend a helping hand to others. Maria has volunteered for Santa Cop, Green Clean, and Marin Human Needs Center. She is planning to attend CSU-East Bay. She loves music, plays both the clarinet and the flute, and also sings. She really, really enjoys kayaking. She has worked for the ETC Youth Lead Fellowship, West End Nursery, The Country Vet, and has a strong interest in becoming a veterinarian.
Shannon is a bright and motivated young woman who is organized, highly motivated, and open to trying new things, and meeting all types of people. She is planning to attend the University of California at Riverside and major in Life Sciences. Her interests lie in the medical field, becoming a medical doctor, or a lab technician. Shannon has volunteered in tutoring children on every subject, and in assisting the elderly. She enjoys painting, drawing, music, fitness, and learning.
Maya is a very hard-working and confident young lady. She graduated from San Marin High School in June and has worked tirelessly to earn opportunities to advance her education. Maya enjoys playing basketball, was the Team Captain on the Varsity Basketball team, and volunteers as a scorekeeper for AAU tournaments. She is planning to attend the College of the Siskiyous and continue playing basketball. She has also volunteered doing childcare and food service for the Quest Church of Novato.