Rowland Unified School District is proud to have community partners who support our schools. At the April 16, 2013 Board of Education Meeting, Wilson C. Mach, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for First General Bank presented $5,000 in scholarship funds to the winners of the first annual First General Bank Scholarship for Rowland Unified School District seniors from Rowland High School, Nogales High School and Santana High School. The scholarship committee panel reviewed 38 student applicants and essays submitted that demonstrated students who had a financial need, academic excellence and leadership through school and community involvement to achieve their educational goal of college.
Griselda Paredes is a senior at Santana High School who is in the ACCEPT Program. Her powerful story moved the panel with her struggle as a teen mom. When her baby boy was diagnosed with asthma, her ambition focused and she has plans to become a pediatrician. Griselda has taken classes with the ROP Childcare Program and she also assists in the ACCEPT childcare center that currently has 20 children (newborn to three years old.) Her instructors shared that she works really hard and takes advantage of every opportunity possible to move ahead, is extremely responsible and gets along with her peers and teachers. Teacher Ms. Shannon Sailor shared that she likes to “soak up the knowledge” shared on what to expect in the stages of child development – cognitively, emotionally and physically- to use the knowledge not only as a Mom, but in the future in the medical field. Griselda enjoys helping community members with event planning, especially during the holidays with decorating and her hobbies include playing softball, dancing and a love of music. She wrote in her essay, “I want to show other teen moms that even when you feel hopeless and others tell you that you will not make it; you can do anything if you can continue to motivate yourself.” Griselda Paredes is the third place recipient, with a First General Bank scholarship of $1,000.
Alexander Chan is a senior at Rowland High School who is an IB Diploma Candidate with combined IB and AP classes and he is an AP Scholar with Honor. His story of his pursuit to specialize, practice and research in oncology due to his sister who survived childhood cancer also moved the panel. Alexander’s commitment to acquire research skills in biological sciences earned him an internship at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY – one of only 25 high school and college students selected nationwide to study alongside cancer researchers. He is in the top 10 of his class an Anatomy and Physiology Science Olympiad Medalist, a President’s Educational Gold Award recipient and has taken part in various academic competitions including the National Science Bowl (where he was Captain/Founder), he was founder of the Biology Olympiad in 11th & 12th grades and was involved in the Mock Trial from 10th – 12th grades. He is chairperson of the School Site Council, president of the Math Club, is a tenor saxophonist and French horn player in the Raider Marching Band. He is an active volunteer at the City of Hope Helford Hospital, provides food for the homeless on L.A.’s Skidrow, and is involved in supporting the “World Community Grid” in school libraries, an effort to link computers globally to donate their computer’s processor time for cancer, muscular dystrophy and AIDS research. Alexander Chan is the Second Place recipient, with a First General Bank Scholarship of $1,500.
Sofia Torres is a senior at Nogales High School who is a scholar, athlete, and artist: She is ranked 4th in her class, is an AP Spanish and Calculus student, is on the Principal Distinguished Honor Roll, involved in ROP Photography and the Foreign Language Program (Spanish), and she has had perfect Attendance 9th – 12 grades! Sofia is an active member of 10 clubs including: Spanish Honor Society, AP Club, Yearbook, Poetry Club, was President last year of Club Fiesta, Best Buddies, and the Nutrition Club. One of her favorites is E.L.P.L.A.N.E.T.A, “an environmental club that tries to better our planet Earth and make our environment a much better and cleaner place for our community.” She is a math tutor as well as volunteers regularly at the Nogales Marketplace. Sofia is an athlete, involved in JV Water Polo during her sophomore year and this year in Varsity Cross Country and Track & Field, where she earned the award for Cross Country as Athletic Academic All League Player. Sofia comes from a family of six and has been accepted to UC Riverside where she plans to major in the field of Environmental Engineering. Congratulations Sofia Torres, First Place recipient, with a First General Bank Scholarship of $2,500.