Kiwanis boosts scholarship fund; eight students benefit

Menlo Park Kiwanis Club awarded $57,000 in scholarships to eight graduating Menlo-Atherton High School seniors. Shown here are John Martin, chair of the Kiwanis Club’s Scholarship Committee; Luciano Perez Hernandez, who will attend San Francisco State University; Ithzamar Valencia, who will be attending Simmons College in Boston; Adriana Alarcon, who will attend the University of Redlands; and Kiwanis Club President Ed Moritz. Photo courtesy of the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club.

Eight outstanding Menlo-Atherton High School seniors received scholarships from the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club this year. The first of those were awarded at the club's annual scholarship luncheon on May 21 at Allied Arts Guild.

This year's awards totaled $57,000, an increase of 14% from $50,000 awarded last year.

For more than 40 years, the club has provided college scholarships to M-A graduating seniors, based on academic performance and community involvement. Nearly $1.2 million has been awarded to local students during the lifetime of the club's scholarship program. Several named scholarships have been endowed by past Kiwanis members.

This year's scholarship winners are:

• Sandra Argelia Gutierrez Carmona, Edwin Brandie Memorial Scholarship

• Alina Kalmeyer, Bill Martin Memorial Scholarship

• Antonia Barona Saavedra, Damon Wedding Memorial Scholarship

• Ithzamar Valencia, Damon Wedding Memorial Scholarship

• Tirazah Grace Leiro, Anna May Duncan Memorial Scholarship.

• Adriana Alarcon

• Lauren Fuller

• Luciano Perez Hernandez

"We are very glad that through our various fundraising activities, particularly our annual Christmas Tree Lot sales, we were able to increase our scholarships to $57,000 this year," said John Martin, chair of the Kiwanis Club's Scholarship Committee.

"Our committee members interviewed many students graduating from M-A to learn more about their academic achievements, commitments to service, and plans for college," he said. "In addition to their academic honors, the eight finalists have a broad range of interests, and each has expressed them through extensive school and community involvement.

"This year's scholarship winners are exceptional and highly motivated. They are tomorrow's leaders, and we hope our Kiwanis scholarships help them achieve their dreams."

For the second year, earlier in 2019, the club also donated $5,000 to the M-A Football Association, a program that helps players visit colleges and football camps in pursuit of scholarships. This effort resulted in scholarship offers for M-A Bear football players last year, and this year several offers have been secured or are expected.

Submitted by the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club

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