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Tonight: Scholarship winners feted

 

The Peninsula College Fund has awarded scholarships of $12,000 each to 15 high school seniors from East Palo Alto, east Menlo Park and Redwood City.

The winners will be recognized at an award ceremony at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton on Saturday, June 18, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Francisco Jimenez, a former California field worker and current author and literature professor at Santa Clara University, will speak at the event. Five PCF winners who have recently graduated from college will also be in attendance.

The award ceremony is open to the public. To RSVP, call (650) 465-8622 or email rsvppcf@yahoo.com.

The fund aims to help minority students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds attend college. It also provides winners with a mentor to assist them in securing summer jobs and internships throughout college, said Charles Schmuck, a Menlo Park resident and founder of PCF.

Although U.S. colleges and universities often award scholarships to minority students with grade point averages of 4.0 or above, PCF is geared toward minority students with grade point averages between 3.2 and 3.8, Mr. Schmuck said.

"The kids who qualify for PCF are generally overlooked," he said. He added that the winners are all first-generation college students. PCF, which is primarily funded by individual donations, has awarded 52 scholarships since it was founded in 2005. This year's winners were chosen based on their transcript, a teacher recommendation, a recommendation written by someone who knows them outside the classroom, and an interview, Mr. Schmuck said.

They are: Dalia Angel and Karina Lira of East Palo Alto Academy; Bryan Duenas, Izamar Moya, Roshana Smith, and Ashley Washington of Eastside College Preparatory; Erica Balderrama and Liliana Guillen of Menlo-Atherton High School; Jessica Esquivel and Sefora Rios of Sequoia High School; Nazareth Diaz and Eric Ramirez of Summit Prep; and Ruby Gonzales, Patricia Peraza, and Keneisha Perry of Woodside High School.

Visit peninsulacollegefund.org for more information.

-- Caitlin Moyles

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