“Exceptional” aptly describes the 22 Scholars from throughout San Diego sharing $79,000 in 2020 college scholarships from Don Diego Scholarship Foundation. These ambitious, idealistic, service-oriented, academic high achievers are already leaders in their schools and communities. Now, propelled by scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, they are poised to soar in their chosen fields, including agriculture, healthcare, technology, business, law, social justice and more.
Several of the honorees are from Escondido.
Scholarships in the categories of FFA, Zable Foundation 4-H, Employee, Exhibitor/Participant, Junior Livestock Auction (JLA) and Vocational Education were offered to students who reside in the San Diego area and participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Lariece Reyna, Escondido, won the top $5,000 JLA Scholarship and the $2,500 FFA Scholarship. The $7,500 will help propel her to UCSD as she majors in Ecology/Behavior/Evolution. A first-generation college student, Lariece graduated near the top of her Escondido High class with a 3.98 GPA while excelling in AP classes, playing field hockey, actively participating in FFA, working several jobs, volunteering and getting involved in veterinary-related pursuits.
Enumerating Lariece’s many positive attributes and impressive achievements, her Cal State San Marcos University Upward Bound coordinator says, “Lariece will not let her circumstances define her. She is a remarkable young lady who stands in the face of obstacles and fights through them.”
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Habib, $1,500, El Cajon, Escondido High, Modesto Jr. College, Agriculture Education/Business Management.
Delaney Barnes, $1,000, Escondido, Escondido High, Modesto Jr. College, Animal Science.
Don Diego Chair Juanita Hayes commented, “The Don Diego Class of 2020 comprises some of the finest future leaders of our region. Each of them persevered through a challenging academic year due to the pandemic. Some have individually surmounted harsh difficulties. Each Scholar shines with promise and hope for the future of our community, our country and the world.”
The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, AKA Tom Hernandez, who served as the Fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947-1984.
To date since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded $1,119,000 in scholarships to 279 students and in agriculture education grants. More information is at www.dondiegoscholarship.org and www.facebook.com/DonDiegoScholarship.