David Maurer scholarship grants opportunities to Exeter students

The David Maurer Memorial Scholarship gives Exeter Union High School students an opportunity to further their education in trades, college

EXETER– Any individual who wants to pursue a career or further their education knows that is not a cheap endeavor. The David Maurer Memorial Scholarship aims to help take some of the load off high school students in Exeter.

The David Maurer Memorial Scholarship offers the largest scholarship amount available to Exeter students. Giving a total of $20,000 to two students, this year on Oct. 21, the foundation hosted the Dueling Pianos, a silent auction and a dinner to raise money for this year’s scholarships and events. The scholarship is in memory of David Maurer who lost his six year battle with cancer in 2018 at the age of 49. Now, David’s family and friends are committed to honoring his legacy and his dedication to the community through this scholarship. 

“We really wanted to be the biggest donor, and the second priority was to really include people that normally wouldn’t be included [in scholarship opportunities],” Stefanie Maurer, wife of David Maurer said. “We really want to provide opportunity to someone that maybe wouldn’t have it otherwise.”

This year the foundation raised about $60,000 at the fundraiser and Stefanie said some donations are still coming in. Each year, the foundation selects two students, one receives $16,000, or $4,000 each year for four years, and another receives $4,000, or $1,000 each year for four years. 

Stefanie said this scholarship is unique because there is not a grade point average (GPA) requirement. Being that David was a farmer, the scholarship committee, made of David’s best friends, usually aims to choose a recipient in the agricultural field, however it is not mandatory. They designed the application in such a way that the committee could get to know the students in a real life way, rather than just what they can put on paper. Applicants can apply in writing and “even use a crayon” to complete the application if they so choose according to Stephanie. 

“We are here to really have an impact on someone” Stephanie said, “[The recipient] is a combination of if somebody catches our eye, and if we feel like they have the potential to be something greater if we gave them this money.”

In 2020, the scholarship was created and the first scholarships were distributed in 2021. Juan Molina was the first recipient of the $16,000 reward, receiving $4,000 each year over the course of four years. Molina is a first generation college student and if it wasn’t for the scholarship, he would not be where he is today. He has since received his welding certificate and continues to take general education classes needed to complete his associates degree at College of the Sequoias.

“[The scholarship] has helped me a lot, because I wasn’t actually going to attend college, but since I actually got the scholarship…it’s a perfect opportunity,” Molina said. “I have already done most of my classes.”

Molina is still toying with the idea of furthering his education at Fresno State. He said as of now he is going to focus on school and try to find a good job to help him continue paying for school if he decides to continue his education. 

Where most scholarships require money to go to tuition, Stefanie said there is no specific way the money has to be spent by the recipient. It can be used for tuition, books, a vehicle to get to class, gas or any other means necessary to complete an education. However, recipients must show proof they are still in school or furthering their education.

The foundation does several additional things and Stefanie said they are currently working on building a bigger presence in the community. She said they help fund college visit trips for Exeter High School students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit. In the future the foundation hopes to also bring trade school visits to students as well. She said the committee is also considering hosting additional fundraising events throughout the year as they grow in popularity. 

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