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2019-20 Scholarship Recipients

New Scholarship Recipients for the 2019-2020 Academic Year are:  

Natalia DuVernois, San Lorenzo Valley High School  (Jack Jensen Memorial Scholarship)

Ms. DuVernois has selected Child and Adolescent Development as her major, with the goal of earning the Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential after graduation.  Her career choice is based upon several years of working with children in various structured child care settings.  Taking Introductory Psychology and Early Childhood Education courses concurrently from Cabrillo College also solidified her academic pathway.  She has earned college credit, also, through Advanced Placement courses in high school.  Ms. DuVernois is the recipient of our Jack Jensen Memorial Scholarship, named for a co-founder of the Santa Cruz Area Chapter of the SJSU Alumni Association who was a lifelong teacher. 

Tyler Erwin, Scotts Valley High School (Carol Coe Memorial Scholarship)

Mr. Erwin will major in Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University with the goal of entering the gaming industry.  He challenged himself academically by joining the International Baccalaureate program at Scotts Valley High and found there a close cohort that has become very important to him.  He also joined clubs that were dedicated to 3D modeling.   This sparked his interest in computer-aided design (CAD) and led him to start his own business creating 3D fidget spinners.  He has extended his interest in graphic design by creating a curriculum for 3D printers and then tutoring students in that curriculum at Scotts Valley High School.  He hopes to intern with companies where he can further develop his skills in CAD.  He is excited by “what we do not yet know about.”  Mr. Erwin plans to work with young people to teach them the benefits of engineering and new technologies.  He will be the first in his family to earn a college degree.  He is the recipient of our most prestigious award, the Carol Coe Memorial Scholarship.  This scholarship is given to an outstanding student who exemplifies a dedication to community service.

Jasmine Fabie, Cabrillo College

Ms. Fabie, a re-entry student, will be studying Graphic Design at San Jose State University with a very specific goal of working with women to help them become successful in life as well as in business.   She overcame a cycle of abuse in her earlier life and made a significant change by moving to California to break the pattern that had kept her and her family in poverty.   She has volunteered at a Women’s Center and on an abuse hotline.   Through this experience, and the training required, she has clarified her goals.  Skills which she has developed  in college (drawing, writing) she will use in her advanced coursework and in her professional life.  She wishes to become a creative design director, working with “female-owned businesses to develop brands and business models that serve and support women”.  She believes “in the strong, dynamic influence of micro-economies that are created for women, by women”.  We believe she will succeed!

Michelle Ibarra-Castillo, Pajaro Valley High School

Ms. Ibarra-Castillo will major in Psychology at San Jose State with the goal of earning a Master’s degree and becoming a professional counselor or therapist.  She comes from a family of eight children.  She was active in Girls Basketball, and is proud to have been named Most Valuable Player.  She is cited as a “natural leader” by her teachers. As she grew up, she felt the need for someone to talk to about her need for attention and understanding.  She wants to learn “why people do what they do” and she hopes to come back to her community after graduation to help “guide low-income youth that are facing problems, to give them hope and provide healthy coping mechanisms.”   

Erin Koch, Cabrillo College

Ms. Koch plans to major in Public Health with the goal of becoming either a medical esthetician or a surgical nurse.  Unsure of her academic goals after high school, Ms. Koch enrolled in beauty school and earned an esthetician certificate.  Subsequently, she started her own business in that field.  After returning to college at Cabrillo, she found her passion in an Anatomy class and her future path became clear.  She earned an Associate’s degree in Health Science/Community Health from Cabrillo College in spring 2019.  She will struggle to maintain her business while attending SJSU full time, but she is determined to complete her degree in two years!  Our scholarship will be a big help!

Melissa Martinez, Soquel High School

Ms. Martinez will be a Theatre major at San Jose State and will, undoubtedly, be involved in clubs and organizations.  She was in all the major theatre productions at Soquel High, while leading the Multicultural Club and volunteering at her church.  When she visited San Jose State University, she “fell in love with it”.  She may join Ballet Folklorico once on campus.  She will be the first in her family to attend college.  She has one brother who is autistic and is cared for by her parents.  Ms. Martinez credits AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) for helping her see that college was a real possibility for her.  She is now a strong advocate for other students to join the program.  She plans to become an actress and to teach theatre.

Natalie Owens, San Lorenzo Valley High School

Ms. Owens will major in Environmental Studies with the goal of eventually becoming an environmental lawyer.  Her enthusiasm for environmental issues began when she challenged herself to enroll in a class that included field work, labs, and testing.  This evolved into a two year project in which she and her lab partner studied Sudden Oak Death in trees near her school.  This project earned them second place in the Santa Cruz County Science Fair and a place to compete at the California State Science Fair in 2018.  She has also participated in theatre productions and is increasingly interested in ceramics, while earning an exceptional academic record!  After graduating and earning a law degree, Ms. Owens plans to work locally to solve environmental problems.

Ken Ueda-Martinez, Cabrillo College

Mr. Ueda-Martinez will major in International Business at San Jose State.  He will bring to that major the valuable experience of being educated in the Philippines and in Japan and being fluent in Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog and English!  He has used these skills to great advantage as a peer tutor in the Tutoring Center at Cabrillo College, earning a Level III Master International Tutor Certification in accounting, Japanese, math and Spanish.  Although Mr. Ueda-Martinez’ family lives abroad, he came to Cabrillo because his parents were once students there and met there.  At one point, he was homeless but made the determination to commit to finishing school and secured funding to do so.  His long-range goal is to advance as far as possible academically, possibly earning a Ph.D.  

Alejandro Uribe-Rocha, Cabrillo College

Mr. Uribe-Rocha will major in Civil Engineering with a long-term goal of earning a Master’s degree.  He is focused on providing a solid future for his two children and to “inspire others ... to make a change in the way we live and think.”  Mr. Uribe-Rocha’s parents only completed third grade.  He will be the first in his family to graduate from college.  He became a father for the first time as a sophomore in high school.  He has worked at least part time for the past ten years.  Although, by necessity, his academic progress has been slower than average, he has shown determination to reach his goals and has maintained a strong grade point average.  As a professional engineer, he will return to his community and do pro bono work.  He is especially interested in building housing for students who are parents.  

Eleven continuing students also had their scholarship renewed.  Check our Scholarship Page for more information