Friends of the Solana Beach Library awards scholarships


The board of directors of the Friends of the Solana Beach Library recently announced their 2020 Friends Scholarships for education beyond the high school level. A generous matching grant from an anonymous donor has allowed the Friends to award seven $1,000 scholarships this year.

The award winners comprise a diverse group of Solana Beach residents, in terms of schools attended, educational and career aspirations, and life experience. All of the scholarship recipients have impressive records of academic achievement and service to their Solana Beach community and beyond, as well as outstanding recommendations from their teachers, counselors and others. And all of them have shown determination and resourcefulness in meeting the challenges of applying for the Friends scholarship during the COVID-19 disruptions this year.

Listed here alphabetically by first name are the 2020 Friends Scholarship recipients:

Grace Cleveland

• Figure-skating gold medalist Grace Cleveland is a June graduate of Santa Fe Christian High School. She plans to attend Wheaton College near Chicago majoring in communications with a minor in Spanish, in preparation for a career as a reporter. Besides serving Thanksgiving meals and assisting with sports camps locally, her volunteer service, arranged through her school, included teaching in the Dominican Republic and Uganda.

Jade Blanchard

Jade Blanchard is a June graduate of the Grauer School. She will be attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she will enroll as a liberal arts undeclared major. She is interested in a career in psychology. Besides local service in beach cleanups and camp counseling, she has worked through Grauer’s Girl Rising Club to raise money for a boarding school for marginalized girls in Kenya, offering them an education beyond primary school.

Karla Trujillo

• Photographer Karla Trujillo holds an Associate of Arts degree in anthropology from Mira Costa College and has been working in UCSD’s Partners at Learning (PAL) program in the university’s Education Department. She will enter University of California, Berkeley as a junior in August, majoring in biological anthropology. She looks forward to a career as an educator, counselor, park ranger, filmmaker or motivational speaker, having had experience in all of these fields. Through her involvement in PAL, Karla has designed and taught a multigenerational bicultural after-school art program in Solana Beach, as well as a weekly Teenology Rangers program that combines science, art and nature. She currently serves as program and marketing director for La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation. Karla’s photos and frames have been exhibited at the Solana Beach City Hall and also at the Solana Beach Library.

Marina Duran Perez

Marina Duran Perez graduated in June from San Dieguito High School Academy and will attend California State University, San Marcos. She plans to study business administration and global business, to work in human resources, and later to start her own cosmetics company using formulas beneficial to the skin. Marina has been a mainstay in the support of her family, taking on a responsibilities at home when an accident left her mother unable to work. She also volunteers at the annual Solana Beach Dia de los Muertos and holiday baskets programs.

Nicole Donahue-Marucheau

Nicole Donahue-Marucheau has completed her sophomore year at Sonoma State University and is transferring to the bachelor of science in nursing program at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Having worked as a certified nursing assistant, she plans to become a registered nurse in an oncology unit when she graduates and then earn a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner. She has served food at the Third Avenue Charitable Organization, through her church and at local food banks, volunteered at retirement homes, and done breast cancer walks in honor of her mother.

Richar Ramos Hernandez

Richar Ramos Hernandez graduated from Torrey Pines High School this June and will be the first in his family to go on to a four-year college. He will attend California State University, San Marcos, majoring in business, with plans for an MBA and a career in marketing or advertising, establishing his own company. He has volunteered in the Solana Beach community, picking up trash and helping to set up local events, as well as participating in them.

Ryan Luther

Ryan Luther graduated from Santa Fe Christian High School in June and will attend University of Southern California majoring in aerospace engineering. He plans to get a master’s degree in business administration and to work for NASA or for SpaceX or another private space travel company. Ryan has worked for the City of Solana Beach Junior Lifeguards and served on the Parks and Recreation Committee as a youth commissioner, helped out at the Ladle Fellowship soup kitchen in San Diego, and fostered dogs for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

“We are so impressed, not only with these students’ achievements and goals,” says Susan McEachern, incoming president of the Friends of the Solana Beach Library, “but also with how well they are planning for the uncertainties of the start of the school year.”