The Santa Maria Chapter of California Women for Agriculture recently awarded over $17,000 in college scholarships to 21 future leaders in agriculture.
From a doctoral student hoping to train teachers at the university level to a first-year college student hoping to tackle the finance side of the agricultural industry, there was a broad range of applicants -- a total of 25 this year.
The scholarship winners were: Adriana Arias (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Alonso Portillo (Chico State), Amanda Stevenson (Cal Poly), Andrew Mehlschau (Cal Poly), Connor Hayes (Cal State Fresno), David Garcia (Cal Poly SLO), Eric Velazquez (Hancock College), Erica Bowles (Butler Community College), Felix Perez (Cal Poly), Julia Boersma (Cal Poly), Julia Martinez Bautista (Hancock), Kathryn Teixeira (Oklahoma State), Justina Moses (Blinn College), Kathleen Merrill (Hancock), Katie Tonascia (Hancock), Nelly Guerra (Cornell), Nico Graham Menjivar (Colorado State), Rosalva Diaz (Modesto Junior College), Tanner Patino (Cuesta College), Trevor Thompson (Oklahoma State) and Victoria Garcia (Cal Poly).
Each applicant is required to submit a transcript, letters of recommendation and an application with short essay answers pertaining to their community involvement, educational goals and agricultural interest, among other items. Applications are reviewed by the scholarship committee, and amounts are awarded through a point system.
The CWA recognized a generous and supportive community, which helped raise a record-breaking $60,000 during last year's Casino Night. These contributions allowed the group to support the agriculture-related career goals of these students.
Casino Night is CWA's only fundraising event. This year's will be held Sept. 29 at the Santa Maria Fairpark.
For more information about the event and organization, visit santamariacwa.com.