Photo By: Courtesy of MVLA Scholars
MVLA Community Scholars honorees, their families and their mentors attend a reception recognizing the students’ efforts May 10.
MVLA Community Scholars recognized new scholars from Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District schools at a reception in Los Altos May 10.
MVLA Community Scholars, a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation, provides four-year renewable college scholarships and mentoring to local students with powerful life stories. The program’s mission is to help students gain the confidence and determination to succeed in college by providing scholarships, personal mentoring and community support.
This year, 22 students from Los Altos and Mountain View high schools received MVLA Community Scholars scholarships.
• Los Altos High School: Asha Bhote, Mabis Gharti Chhetry, Caitlin Hoover, Alexandra Lopez, Anthony Mata, Liliana Medina, Glenda Vargas, Adriana Velasco and Janna Wang.
• Mountain View High School: Roberto Aguilar, Kevin Alarcon, Ashley Alvarez-Lorenzo, Estefania Bautista, Diana Contreras-Chavez, Ana Gomez, Christian Hernandez, Sydney Magana, Viet Nguyen, Kristen Redaniel, Kara Rivera, Jamie Rodas and Eneyda Tobar.
“Each one of these students has fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to college,” District Superintendent Barry Groves said. “It is truly inspiring to see these dedicated and hardworking students head out into the world, eager to make their way in it. They want to contribute to society in a positive way and will have a profound effect on the future of us all. I salute them and wish them well.”
The end of high school is a happy time for diligent students and their families, who have seen the fruits of their hard work pay off. But for some students, the road has not been an easy one. Without the ability to pay for college test prep classes, private tutors or summer programs to beef up high school resumes, many among this year’s graduates had to look elsewhere for help in achieving the dream of a college education. For this year’s honorees, MVLA Community Scholars provided the answer.
“When a student is selected to be an MVLA Community Scholar, the student and family become part of our family,” said Dee Gibson, chairwoman of MVLA Community Scholars. “Most of our scholars are the first in their families to attend college, so the opportunity to graduate from college is a transformative experience that impacts their entire family and community.”
Gibson cited the importance of mentoring as a cornerstone in the MVLA Community Scholars’ charter.
“These scholars become role models for their families, their peers and their community,” she said. “One of the key components of our program is the role that our mentors play in the life of the student from the moment that they are accepted as a scholar through graduation. The mentors help the students overcome roadblocks that could prevent them from graduating from college.”
Founded in 2000, MVLA Community Scholars has provided scholarships for more than 200 students from the MVLA school district and currently funds more than 60 college students. The MVLA Community Roundtable, comprising several community organizations including the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, Quota Club and the Los Altos Community Foundation, administers the application process. Awards range from $1,000 to $6,000 per year for students attending primarily UCs, CSUs and local community colleges plus a small number of private universities.
More than 100 volunteers serve as mentors, on the scholarship selection committee and on program oversight. More than 70 donors contribute to each class of Scholars.
Renee Hinson is an MVLA Community Scholars volunteer.