Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

California Strawberry Scholarship Recipients Conquer Odds To Reach Goals

May 16, 2012

Children of Farmworkers Receive 2012 Awards to Begin and Continue their College Education

WATSONVILLE, Calif., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The California Strawberry Commission is pleased to announce that $188,300 has been awarded to 193 students through the California Strawberry Scholarship Program for the 2012-2013 school year. Now in its 19th year, the program has awarded more than $1.5 million to 1,384 children of California strawberry farm workers.

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“After nearly two decades of awarding scholarships to students, we have the privilege and honor to witness their accomplished dreams come true,” said Lorena Chavez, Scholarship Committee Chair, California Strawberry Commission. “It is clear that the values exhibited by the heart of the strawberry community – the field workers – are being imparted to their children. The determination and passion demonstrated by these young people is extraordinary.”

Success Stories

The California Strawberry Scholarship Program has contributed to the successful completion of educational degrees, including Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. programs. Many recipients have entered professions that enable them to build professional careers and give back to their families and communities. Below are two students who exemplify the kinds of success stories that occur every year.

“I am currently working on obtaining an MBA from California Lutheran University,” said Heriberto Farfan. “My parents are dedicated and hard-working people who guided me in the choices I made to get to this point. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from them, as well as the support from programs like the California Strawberry Scholarship Program.”

“With all the challenges college students face, I am grateful for all the support I have received to help me pursue my goals,” said Denis Diaz. “I’m proud to be a Sociology-Law student at UC Riverside and appreciate the help I have received from the California Strawberry Scholarship Program.”

About the Scholarship Program

Formed in 1994 by the California Strawberry Commission, the California Strawberry Scholarship Program was designed as a way to demonstrate grower’s appreciation of the contributions that farm workers make. The California Strawberry Growers’ Scholarship Fund was established by California strawberry growers, shippers, processors and affiliated companies to extend funding for continuing students.

Awards are based on individual merit and are sent directly to the student’s school to be applied toward tuition and books. To qualify, scholarship applicants must have at least one parent who has been employed as a strawberry farm worker for the past two consecutive seasons. Students must attend an accredited vocational trade school, junior college or four-year university to be eligible for a scholarship.

Scholarship Award Ceremonies

Ceremonies are held in various cities to honor the students’ achievements and recognize those who support their endeavors. The student’s friends and families attend, along with local representatives and teachers. Below is a complete list of the ceremonies.

Local Award Ceremonies

To media interested in covering the event, below are the ceremony, times, dates and locations. The events are not open to the general public.

Thursday, May 17, 6:30 p.m., Kennedy Youth Center, Watsonville
Monday, May 21, 6:30 p.m., Odagio Bella Gardens by Hilton Garden Inn, Oxnard
Tuesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m., Santa Maria Inn, Santa Maria

Connect with California Strawberries

About the California Strawberry Commission

The California Strawberry Commission (www.californiastrawberries.com) is a state government agency that represents 600 growers, shippers and processors of California strawberries. With a focus on food safety education, Commission strategies also include production and nutrition research, trade relations, public policy and marketing communications.

SOURCE California Strawberry Commission

Source: PR Newswire