Local high schoolers receive scholarships from MVLA Scholars

Courtesy of MVLA Scholars
MVLA Scholars 2015 scholarship recipients celebrate their academic achievements at the Los Altos Community House.

MVLA Scholars recently awarded seniors from Los Altos and Mountain View high schools scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 per year – and the services of a college mentor.

“We wanted high-achieving, low-income, first-generation-to-college applicants, and we received a huge response,” said Dee Gibson, co-chairwoman of MVLA Scholars. “Of the 70 qualified applicants, 29 received scholarships, more awarded in one year than ever before.”

Janet Tornow, co-chairwoman of MVLA Scholars, said this year’s group of students was “incredibly impressive and accomplished.”

“They all have powerful life stories and a proven resiliency,” she said. “I am in awe of their ability to overcome even profound obstacles. Many have worked 20, 30-plus hours a week to help their families, maintained high GPAs and still participated in sports, theater, church and community service.”

This year’s scholarship winners and their colleges:

• Cal Poly Pomona: Sharon Wachuka

• Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: Lawrence Antiporda

• Chico State: Alejandro Chavez, Jorge Farias

• CSU East Bay: Asaysha Session

• Foothill and De Anza colleges: Mirella Acevedo Perez, Lesleiy Sandoval, Jamaila Padaong

• Long Beach State: Elaine Jennings

• Sacramento State: Akemi Yoshida

• San Francisco State: Blanca Casillas, Alexandra Zaragoza-Chavez

• San Jose State: Anamaria Gomez, Victor Macias, Edgar Sanchez Lopez

• Santa Clara University: Perla Luna, Maria G. Munoz Yepez

• Sonoma State: Liliana Maldonado, Jose Morales, Vanessa Villavicencio

• UC Berkeley: Rita Alejandra Villanueva

• UC Davis: Jhosseline Guardado, Edgar Tapia

• UC Merced: Jose Amaya, Genesis Arreola, Jocelyne Marin-Melo

• UC Santa Barbara: Katherine Hamilton, Alexa Lopez

• UC Santa Cruz: Michael Viray

To honor retiring Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Superintendent Barry Groves, MVLA Scholars raised approximately $35,000 to provide two scholarships per year to exceptional district students.

“I cannot imagine a better retirement gift than helping more district students realize their college dreams,” Groves said.

MVLA Scholars is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation.

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