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Kiwanis Club provides scholarships to MVLA students


Crystal Tai/Town Crier
From left, Mayela Arreguin, Eduardo Zaragoza, Erika Kwan, Deshan Yapabandara and Madison Dees receive Kiwanis scholarships.

The Los Altos Kiwanis Club awarded scholarships May 1 to five Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District students who plan to attend Foothill or De Anza college in the fall.

The Kiwanis scholarship will cover each recipient’s first year of community college education, based on an estimate that it would cost $3,432 a year.

This year’s recipients:

• MVLA Adult School student Mayela Arreguin. An immigrant since age 19, Arreguin has made it a priority to learn English, even after getting married and having a daughter. MVLA Adult School teachers said Arreguin often helps younger students.

“Learning is not a journey of one,” Arreguin said.

Arreguin plans to attend Foothill College and study business administration and accounting. Her dream is to open a family restaurant someday.

• Los Altos High senior Madison Dees. Diagnosed with learning disabilities such as memorization and processing problems, Dees worked to raise her grade-point average from 2.0 in her freshman year to 4.0 in her senior year.

Dees plans to attend De Anza College and then transfer to Boise State University to study child development. She said she would like to become a kindergarten or first-grade teacher.

• Mountain View High senior Erika Kwan. With an interest in community service, Kwan has learned sign language and created a children’s book using Adobe Illustrator.

Kwan plans to attend Foothill College and then transfer to a four-year university, with the goal of becoming a science teacher.

• Mountain View High senior Deshan Yapabandara. A student leader, Yapabandara also excels in Advanced Placement classes. He single-handedly organized a Civic Engagement Week on campus. He worked with the Mountain View Police Department and city council to ensure the safety of students who participated in the National School Walkout protesting gun violence March 14. While busy with school, Yapabandara also served as his single mother’s caregiver during her serious illness.

He plans to attend De Anza College and transfer to a four-year university, while aiming at law school.

• Alta Vista High senior Eduardo Zaragoza. Zaragoza won first place in the Rotary Club of Los Altos’ recent Young at Art contest.

Zaragoza plans to attend Foothill College and pursue a career in designing art for video games.

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