Each year the Sunkist Grower-A.W. Bodine Scholarship program awards scholarships to students who achieve academic excellence and have family or personal involvement in the agricultural industry in California or Arizona. This year, Sunkist awarded nine scholarships to students from across California. Below is a list of these nine outstanding students and a brief accomplishments profile.
Angel Castro, Santa Maria – Castro is attending the UC Berkeley and studying political science. He graduated from Santa Maria High School with a 4.0 grade point average. During high school, Castro was president of Future Leaders of America and MESA and vice president of the California Scholarship Federation. He also regularly volunteered at the local library and at the St. John Neumann Parrish.
Mariela DeLaTorre, Watsonville - DeLaTorre is attending UC Davis majoring in psychology. Her goal is to become a pediatrician and work in a hospital for low income families. While at Watsonville High School, DeLaTorre played varsity soccer, was part of a tutoring program for elementary students and also worked throughout high school at the same nursery as her parents, Plant Horizons Nursery.
Maria Lemus, Modesto – Lemus is attending Stanford University and her goal is to become a physician. Lemus graduated from Thomas Downey High School with a grade point average of 4.53. During high school she was involved in various clubs including dance and art. Lemus also was a member of the Science Olympiad Team. She volunteered at a shelter for abused women and children, served as an intern at Stanford Hospital and Clinics last summer and tutored at an elementary school. Despite her busy schedule, she also found time to work 20 to 25 hours per week at a fast food restaurant.
Jose Lepe, Oxnard - Lepe is attending UC San Diego and is majoring in human biology. His goal is to become a physician. Lepe graduated from Oxnard High School in June with a 3.96 grade point average. His high school activities included participation in the academic decathlons which yielded 13 medals, varsity swimming and cross country.
Elizabeth Ramirez, Bakersfield – Ramirez is attending San Diego State University and her goal is to become a pediatrician. Ramirez graduated from South High School. She was a member of MARCA, a club for Latinas, and she was captain of the varsity soccer team and played varsity softball as well. Ramirez was very active in volunteer work as a school counselor, at her local church and with local medical clinics. She also found time to work 15 hours per week to help pay for needed school supplies.
Melissa Ramirez-Medina, Port Hueneme - Ramirez-Medina is attending UC Berkeley and is majoring in political economy. She would like to become a journalist. Ramirez-Medina graduated in June from Channel Islands High School with a 4.34 grade point average. Her high school activities included serving as president of the California Scholarship Federation, Student Body Vice President, editor of her school newspaper and president of the science club.
Troy Rosin, Los Banos – Troy is attending California State University, Sacramento and studying civil engineering. He graduated from Los Banos High School with a 3.78 grade point average. During high school, Rosin served on the student senate and played football for four years.
Luke Schaner, Valley Center - Schaner is in his junior year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The son of a third generation farmer, he is majoring in agricultural engineering and plans to return to farming upon graduation. Schaner graduated from St. Augustine High School in June 2005 with a 4.0 grade point average. He was vice president of his senior class and was the offensive MVP of his varsity soccer team.
Ashley Travis, Woody - Travis is attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and majoring in animal science. Because of her lifelong love of horses, her goal is to become a horse trainer and breeder someday. Travis graduated from North High with a 4.4 grade point average. She was actively involved in Future Farmers of America, a member of California Scholarship Federation and received the Principal's Scholastic Honors Award. Travis was also actively involved in community service work. During high school, Travis worked as an assistant trainer for Imperial Ranch in Shafter.
"It is clear that the future is bright for the next generation after looking at the accomplishments and goals of these nine students," says Tim Lindgren, president of Sunkist Growers.