Civic & Historical Society awards scholarships to two Solana Beach teens


Ryan Luther, 18, and Sarah Senteno, 17, each were recently awarded $1,000 scholarships from the Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society. In recognition of their accomplishments during a difficult and somewhat truncated school year due to pandemic restrictions, the Society also awarded each student an additional $500.

Sarah Senteno is a fourth-generation member of the Robert “Chuckles” Hernandez family of La Colonia de Eden Gardens and will be the first on either side of her family to go to college. She plans to attend Cal State University, San Marcos and study criminology and criminal justice, with a long-term goal to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sarah Senteno

Sarah Senteno

“I want to help people and help to protect my community,” Sarah says, adding that recent racial justice demonstrations have firmed only that resolve. Sarah graduated from Torrey Pines High School, where she worked in the cafeteria and was active in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).

Ryan Luther graduated from Santa Fe Christian Schools (SFC), where he maintained a 4.5 grade point average while playing four varsity sports, as well as participating in the robotics and academic team. He also was a founding member of SFC’s math tutoring club. Community members may have seen him dressed as a penguin at the annual Solana Beach holiday tree lighting.

Ryan Luther

Ryan has committed to the University of Southern California, where he plans to study aerospace engineering with the goal of joining the National Aeronautics and Space Agency or a private space travel company. He says his interest in space travel started while making model rockets with his father and he closely followed the recent Space X launch and transfer of U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station.

Both students said the initial weeks of online learning were a little difficult after pandemic restrictions and state “shelter at home” orders shuttered their schools.

Still, both committed to attending online classes, completing homework assignments and keeping their grades high. Sarah and Ryan and their families participated in “drive by” graduation ceremonies at their respective campuses. — News release