The 64 students from Torrey Pines High School receiving Dollars for Scholars scholarships this year are future doctors, actors and artists; young adults who will attend college next year to excel academically, play college baseball or rev up that UCLA vs. USC rivalry.
A total of $47,000 was awarded to this special collection of students last Wednesday night through the 22-year-old scholarship program made possible by community donors.
Donors included Pardee Homes, North Shore Softball, Rancho Santa Fe Rotary and the Friends of Torrey Hills/Carmel Valley.
Torrey Pines Principal Brett Killeen said the night is one of his most favorite of the year.
"It's so hard to pick students for scholarships when they're all so amazing," Killeen said, likening the selection process to voting for the next American Idol, who was crowned that night. "These are truly our Torrey Pines Idols."
Of the 64 students honored, 14 will attend UC Berkeley and so many noted they will study molecular biology that Gabrielle Battista, winner of the Del Mar/Solana Beach Optimist Club scholarship, joked she is studying "molecular theater" at San Francisco State.
Torrey Pines will be represented at some of the nation's best schools: Nadia Farjood is headed for Harvard, Olivia Petrocco to Brown, Daniel Song to Princeton, and Daniel Qu will attend Yale.
Several of the scholarships were memorial, remembering former Torrey Pines students like class of 2008's Sean Canepa and Adam Weiner, a class of 2000 graduate who died suddenly last September.
Canepa was remembered for his joy, his quest for knowledge and creativity with music composition; the scholarship in his name was given to Michael Chen.
Eric Weiner gave a loving presentation, telling of brother Adam's intelligence, kindness and love for Falcon football. The scholarship was given to fellow Falcon football player Cameron Shimizu.