The Kiwanis Club of Los Altos recently awarded scholarships to six graduating seniors from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.
At a celebratory luncheon last week, Kiwanis Club officials presented scholarships to Judy Tutuvanu and Mike Hernandez-Martinez of Alta Vista High School, Vanness Leung and Valeria Castro-Chavez of Los Altos High and Tiana Bolin and Yu Zhu of Mountain View High.
All six winning students plan to attend Foothill College next year, where the scholarship will cover the costs of registration, tuition and books. The college itself has committed to funding the students’ second year at Foothill, so that no student is left in the lurch after one year of college.
The annual Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot, staffed by volunteers, raises money for five of the scholarships, and an anonymous donor contributed this year’s sixth scholarship.
Recipients are selected on the grounds of their accomplishments and service to the community, as well as their commitment to pursuing their educations in the face of adversity.
While this year’s students boasted a slew of athletic, academic and extracurricular achievements, none has traveled an easy road to college. The recipients navigated high school while also facing obstacles including the death of parents, working multiple jobs to support their families and learning English after immigrating to the United States.
The students described a wide range of future aspirations, including transferring to a University of California campus for a four-year degree, working in computer science, becoming a teacher, using knowledge of other countries to bridge culture gaps between international businesses – and perhaps, said one animal lover, starting a dog nursery.
For more information, visit losaltoskiwanis.org.