California Table Grapes awards scholarships to local students

(Chinnapong on AdobeStock)

Seven students from the Central Valley region earn California Table Grape Growers scholarships worth up to $25,000

FRESNO – In a commendable effort to support higher education, California Table Grape Growers have awarded scholarships to seven deserving students from the state’s grape-growing regions.

Since 1985, California Table Grape Growers have awarded more than 200 scholarships to help students in the grape growing regions of California attend college.

Announced on June 13, the producer awarded a pair of $25,000 field worker scholarships to students attending a four-year college or university. Two $14,500 field worker bridge scholarships were awarded to students attending two years of community college and transferring to a four-year college or university. In order to be eligible for a field worker scholarship, applicants, a parent or a guardian must work in the California table grape harvest.

Three $25,000 agriculture scholarships were awarded to students attending a four-year California college or university and planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in a field of study pertinent to the table grape industry.

The two recipients of the $25,000 Field Worker Scholarships are Leslie Aquino and Marco Jimenez. Aquino graduated from East Bakersfield High School with a 4.5 GPA and will attend University of California, Merced to study computer science. Aquino was a member of her school cross-country and track teams, a church and community volunteer and was selected to participate in the Kern High School District Art Show. Aquino is not only the first person in her family to graduate high school, but graduated at the top of her class and will be the first in her family to attend college this fall.

Jimenez graduated from Delano High School with a 4.2 GPA and will attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo to major in civil engineering. He was the captain of the Delano High School Drumline and a founding member of the Delano High School Gardening Club, which raises and maintains a variety of plants and crops. As a volunteer in the community, Jimenez hopes to return to Delano after college to further aid in the city’s development as a civil engineer.

The recipients of the $14,500 Field Worker Bridge Scholarships are Anali Alcantar and Lizbeth Ramirez Ramos. Alcantar graduated from Harmony Magnet Academy with a 3.3 GPA and will attend Porterville College to study education. She is an active community member, spending her time as a SCICON camp counselor and volunteering with the Porterville Barn Theater group. Alcantar will be the first in her family to attend college and afterwards looks forward to being an elementary school teacher helping young students learn English.

Ramos graduated from Harmony Magnet Academy with a 4.0 GPA and will attend Porterville College to study nursing. Ramos was a member of the President’s List and participated in the Academic Decathlon, winning a gold and bronze medal. She was a SCICON camp counselor and also served as an Imagine Arts Intern, assisting K-6th graders with STEM projects. She also has a passion for healthcare; after finishing her prerequisites in nursing, Ramos plans to transfer to a four-year university to specialize in obstetrics.

Madison Jackson, Olivia Machado and Brenda Monje were awarded the $25,000 Agriculture Scholarships. Jackson graduated from Liberty High School with a 4.1 GPA and will attend California State University, Chico to study agriculture education and environmental science. Jackson was involved in FFA, serving in several FFA leadership positions, attending numerous FFA conferences and helping her grapevine pruning team place fifth in the state finals. She is passionate about the future of agriculture and plans to become an agriculture teacher after college to help future students understand the importance of agriculture and environmental stewardship.

Machado graduated from Tulare Western High School with a 4.3 GPA and will attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo to study agriculture business. Machado was a member of the Tulare FFA, earning several FFA degrees and awards from various FFA competitions such as first place Ag Issues State Finalist and third place Ag Issues National Finalist. Machado was also an athlete as a member of the basketball, track and field, water polo and swim teams. After college, Machado plans to attend law school to become an agriculture lawyer to advocate for farmers, ranchers and the agriculture industry.

Monje graduated from Tulare Western High School with a 4.1 GPA and will attend California State University, Fresno to study food technology. Monje was a member of the Tulare FFA grapevine pruning team, earned a California State FFA degree and served as the San Joaquin Regional FFA Vice President. Monje is interested in the future of agriculture technology and after college desires to contribute to technological innovations in the agriculture industry.

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