The Friends of the Solana Beach Library recognized three Solana Beach residents May 29 with the organization’s 2019 scholarship awards at a celebration at the library.
The recipients of the three $2,000 scholarships — Ella Chambers, Diana Hernandez and Wendy Mendoza — were recognized for outstanding academic achievement; intelligence, integrity, hard work and determination; dedication to their family and peers; and service to their school, their community and the world beyond. All three scholars this year are graduating seniors at Torrey Pines High School.
Ella Chambers attended a Spanish immersion program in elementary school, became fluent in Spanish, and in high school volunteered as a tutor for the North County Immigration and Citizenship Center’s Pathways to Citizenship program. Ella emerged as a natural leader and a source of good ideas for improving the program, so the center hired her. Under her leadership as Citizenship Volunteer Coordinator, the Pathways program has to date produced 57 new citizens, with a 100 percent passing rate. Ella will study political science at Miami University of Ohio in preparation for a career in law and public policy.
Diana Hernandez will study chemistry in college — it’s her favorite subject, especially the math component of chemistry. During her high school years she has also pursued interests in painting, photography and music. She will begin her college career at MiraCosta College this fall and then transfer to University of California, Merced. She plans to become a pediatrician.
Diana credits community programs such as the mentoring program at Casa de Amistad, and Boys & Girls Clubs internships, community service programs and college trips, with helping her learn English, gain self-confidence and succeed in her education. She has given back to the community by volunteering for events in La Colonia and at the library, at Father Joe’s Village, and the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Wendy Mendoza will study behavioral neuroscience at University of San Diego and plans to become a doctor of medicine. As a child Wendy was part of the tutoring program at Casa de Amistad, where she observed the positive influence of the program’s tutors on herself and others. Like many of the students who have benefitted from Casa de Amistad’s program, when she reached high school Wendy became a volunteer herself, and she now tutors elementary students in math, reading and writing.
She has also served as a volunteer through St. Leo’s Mission, the AVID club at Torrey Pines High School, and the Boys & Girls Clubs.
At the May 29 ceremony Linnea Dayton, chair of the Friends of the Solana Beach Library Scholarship Committee, introduced the students and welcomed their families, current and former teachers and mentors, and other celebrants from the community. Vickie Driver, president of the Friends, presented the students with their scholarship certificates and checks, Friends coffee mugs, congratulatory bouquets and gift cards for use in the Friends Title Wave bookstore at the library.