Ruiz 4 Kids awards record $615K in scholarships

Nonprofit provides 323 Valley students with $1,000 or $2,500 scholarships for graduating seniors, transfer students, respectively

DINUBA — The pandemic may have hamstringed education for the graduating class of 2021, but it certainly didn’t hamper their chances of earning money for college. In fact, Ruiz 4 Kids, the nonprofit arm of Ruiz Foods, handed out the highest dollar amount for scholarships in its history.

A total of 323 California Central Valley students are recipients of a 2021 Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship.

Two categories of scholarships were distributed: $1,000 for graduating high school seniors and $2,500 for transfer students. Scholarship recipients also receive a generous number of El Monterey product coupons for those quick lunches or late-night study snacks.

This year’s total of $615,000 sets a new record for the Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship Program. Last year Ruiz 4 Kids awarded $600,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and college transfer students.

“Ruiz 4 Kids has always believed in helping local students’ pursuit of a higher education,” said Tyler Beck, Ruiz 4 Kids president. “Let’s face it… last year the pandemic made it much tougher for so many of them. But when we read their applications, their perseverance… their commitment… was evident… in spite of the pandemic. We know our scholarships will not make up for their lack of in-person classes or activities but we hope, in some small way, that receiving a Ruiz 4 Kids Scholarship will help to build their confidence as they continue with the next chapter of their life.”

California school districts/schools include: Cutler-Orosi School District (44), Kingsburg High School District (41), Dinuba Unified School District (31), Visalia Unified School District (28), Tulare Unified School District (32), Sanger Unified School District (13), Visalia Unified School District (15), Porterville Unified School District (18), Lindsay Unified School District (8), Visalia Private School (5), Kings Canyon Unified School (5), Central Unified School District (4), Exeter Unified School District (4), Hanford Joint Union High School (4), Riverdale Joint Unified (4), Tulare County Office of Education (3), Fresno Unified School District (3), and Visalia College of the Sequoias transfer students (12).

All scholarship dollars are raised via the annual Louis F. Ruiz Golf Invitational. The very first scholarships were awarded in 1987 when Ruiz 4 Kids raised $2,500. Since then, over $4 million in scholarships have been awarded to students in the areas where Ruiz Foods team members live and work: Dinuba, California; Denison, Texas; and Florence, South Carolina.

Ruiz 4 Kids is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 when employees of Ruiz Food Products, Inc. approached Founder Fred Ruiz asking him to help them explore ways to assist families with children in need. Today, Ruiz 4 Kids works to fund two children/education programs: scholarships to high school seniors/community college students and the Mini-Grants for Teachers program.

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