Peninsula College Fund gives scholarships
Sixteen students from Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Redwood City who graduated in June from local high schools have each been awarded college scholarships of $12,000 from the Peninsula College Fund.
"All of these students are the first in their families to go to college, (are) minorities, and have severe financial needs," said Charles Schmuck, founder of the Menlo Park-based fund. "They have GPAs between 3.2 and 3.8, and they are the kids who are often overlooked by other scholarships."
Along with the scholarship, which is distributed in $3,000 increments over four years, students are linked with a mentor who advises them throughout their four years in college. The fund also hosts workshops for students to receive training and help in honing their resume-writing and interviewing skills in hopes of securing summer internships and jobs.
This year's winners are Deji Aiyedogbon and Melissa Sandoval of Woodside High School; Cinthia Zamora and Ana Lara of Summit Preparatory; Daniel Valencia and Julia Cook of Menlo-Atherton High School; Francisco Betancourt, Hashina Brumfield and Roseanna Maafu of East Palo Alto Academy; Sindy Cristosomo, Tania Garcia, Prescilla Pelayo and Cinthya Vieyra of Sequoia High School; and Shayla Bunch, Ruby Bustos and Jakari Perry of Eastside College Prep.
"The mentors are very useful for someone like me, since I'm the first in my family to go to college and it's hard to know what the experience will be like," said Cinthia Zamora, who plans to attend Chico State University in the fall.
The Peninsula College Fund has awarded 34 scholarships since its inception four years ago. The organization mostly depends on individual donations. For more information, go to peninsulacollegefund.org.