Rotarians award $150,000 to La Jolla graduates

Stanford University-bound La Jolla Country Day student Lindsey Kostas receives her scholarship from Rotary Club President Ron Jones.

By Pat Sherman

The Rotary Club of La Jolla awarded $150,000 in college scholarships to 22 graduating La Jolla High School seniors during its May 22 luncheon at the La Valencia Hotel.

“Parents, you should be real proud of these students, the way they interview, the way they present themselves, the accomplishments they’ve already made — and they’re only at the beginning,” said Cindy Goodman, chair of the club’s scholarship committee.

Goodman said applicant interviews took place during a blackout.

La Jolla High School graduate and scholarship recipient Christian Gimber will be headed to the UCLA in the fall.

“There was no power, the elevators weren’t working and the stairwells were locked,” she said, addressing the students. “You accepted that challenge with great humor and grace and dignity. It proves that when you go on to school you’re going to do well under stress.”

Rotarian Russell King, associate director for strategic initiatives at UC San Diego, served as master of ceremonies.

King noted that the percentage of students graduating from high school or receiving a high school equivalency certificate in San Diego County is only 74 percent.

He said socioeconomic barriers were the most prominent factor in whether a student attends college.

“Socioeconomic issues should not stop someone from getting an education,” King said. “There are students that are in this room that are beating the odds. They’re getting into some schools I know I couldn’t get into, and they worked really hard to get there. We’re here to help you get to the next level.”

King said the number of outstanding federal student loans is currently $900 billion, while the number of private student loans is about $140 million — the former being greater than both the country’s overall mortgage debt and credit card debt.

Ricardo Rivas of The Preuss School at UCSD receives the Gilbert Martin scholarship from Rotarian Roger Anderson. Rivas heads to Northwestern University in the fall.

“We need to fill that gap,” he said. “We need to make sure that these students, when they get out of college, are not in debt.”

More Scholarship Winners
The following is a list of scholarship recipients and the universities they plan to attend in the fall.

Riford Scholars (Recipients must attend a California college or university and maintain a GPA of 3.1 in high school and 3.5 in college to remain eligible for the scholarship in subsequent years.)
Elli Desaegher, The Bishop’s School (Point Loma Nazarene); Christian Gimber, La Jolla High, (tentatively UCLA); Kathy Ha, The Preuss School (Cal Poly); Alexandra Kirby, La Jolla Country Day (Santa Clara University); Lindsey Kostas, La Jolla Country Day (Stanford University); Linda Lam, The Preuss School (UC Irvine); Zack Lana, The Bishop’s School (UC San Diego); Kiriti Lin, La Jolla High (UC Davis);Minh Trang Vy, The Preuss School (UC Berkeley); Tom Wheeler, La Jolla High, (Santa Clara University); Ni Na Xaun Vo Diep, The Preuss School (UC San Diego).

Twins Megan (left) and Kaitlin Woods of La Jolla Country Day School receive their scholarship certificates from Rotary Club President Ron Jones. The sibling graduates will be headed to Notre Dame in the fall. Both served in the Spanish Honor Society and Cum Laude Society, and as co-editor and chief of their school’s yearbook.

Rotary Scholars (Non-needs based, funded by a donors and Rotary activities. Recipients may attend any college or university in the country, and must maintain a GPA of 3.2 in both high school and college).
Tiffany Lo, The Bishop’s School (John’s Hopkins University); Mustafa Malik, The Preuss School (Yale University); Jessica O’Dell, The Bishop’s School (Brown University); Madison Pachoe, The Bishop’s School (Brown University); Ricardo Rivas, The Preuss School (Northwestern University); Amara Tang, The Preuss School (UC San Diego); Amaris Tang, The Preuss School (UC San Diego); Sharon Vongvanith, The Preuss School (University of Pennsylvania); Kaitlan Woods, La Jolla Country Day (Notre Dame); and Megan Woods, La Jolla Country Day (Notre Dame).

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Posted by Pat Sherman on Jun 6, 2012. Filed under Community, La Jolla Life, Life, Philanthropy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Rotarians award $150,000 to La Jolla graduates”

  1. Ron Spelman

    I'm a long term Rotarian (over 25 years) and I'm just delighted to be part of such a grand organization……..the Rotray Club really supports our local community in different ways…this is just one of them……….Ron Spelman

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