Four scholars honored by Friends of Solana Beach Library

Scholarship recipients: (l-r) Daniela Conde, Lucia Saldivar, Kelia De La O and Jose Becerra.

The Board of Directors of Friends of Solana Beach Library honored four Solana Beach scholars on May 22, with scholarships of $2,000 each. The recipients were recognized for outstanding academic achievement, integrity, dedication, service to their schools and their community.

President Vickie Driver presented the awards of behalf of Friends of the Solana Beach Library in a ceremony at the library with the students’ families, members of the community and several former teachers in attendance.

Scholarship recipient Daniela Conde, credits her first-grade teacher, Jill Cooper, from Solana Vista Elementary School with seeing her potential and encouraging her to succeed. Daniela has completed an MA at the Teaching College of Columbia University and this fall she will enter a teaching certification and master’s degree program at New York University. This credential will qualify her to teach at the community college level which she plans to do while she works on her PhD in literature.

Daniela has received numerous honors, awards, service and leadership roles in campus and community activities.

Lucia Saldivar, a dedicated student at Torrey Pines High School, sought out Casa de Amistad’s tutoring program. Her tutor, Emily Hester, recalls Lucia was often the last to leave the tutoring room as she stayed to finish one more math problem or type one more paragraph.

Through her volunteer work and employment experience, Lucia has confirmed what she already knew from her family life---that she loves helping people, is eager to learn new things, and is willing to stay until all the work is completed. Lucia will begin her post-secondary education at MiraCosta College and then transfer to a nursing program to prepare for a nursing career.

Life-long Solana Beach resident Keila De La O’s ties to the community include volunteering and employment at the San Dieguito Boys & Girls Clubs, Solana Beach Soccer Club, Study Buddies, Reality Changers and St. Leo’s Youth Ministry. She served two years as secretary and one year as president of the Torrey Pines Junior Optimists Octagon International Club. She organized several community service projects, a book drive and a membership campaign.

Keila plans to attend University of California at Merced, studying human biology in preparation for medical school and a career in obstetrics and gynecology.

Recipient Jose Becerra, through his work at the San Dieguito Boys & Girls Clubs, has helped younger kids by teaching bicycle safety, helping with homework and assisting with special events in the community. Working with the Torrey Pines PALS program, he and his team produced a winning public service announcement on suicide prevention for the 5th Annual Directing Change Film Contest (watch “Light at the End of the Tunnel” at

Jose will enter MiraCosta College in the fall and plans to transfer to California State University at Chico to earn a degree in construction management.

These students are very exceptional and continue to be an asset to their individual schools and the City of Solana Beach. Friends of the Solana Beach Library congratulate them again and wish them every success as they move forward with their formal education.