Canyon Crest Academy senior Scott Jacobson has been awarded a $5,000 college scholarship from the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the San Diego County Fair. He and the other three 2013 scholarship recipients will be recognized at the Don Diego Steve Miller Band Dinner and Concert Gala taking place on June 15 at the Fair. Tickets are available at www.dondiegoscholarship.org.
Don Diego Chair Paul Ecke III reports, “In a year with a record number of applicants and three strong finalists in the highly competitive 4H category, Scott’s academic excellence, public speaking skills, 4H achievements – including a blue ribbon at the Fair for every animal shown over the last 10 years – and, not least of all, his ambition to succeed and passion for animals, made the selection committee’s choice apparent.”
Adding to Scott’s demonstrated excellence on all levels is an incredible drive to do his best under all circumstances. Graduating with a 3.48 GPA, Scott confides, “I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and ADHD at an early age, but my mom never let me use this as an excuse to not do well in school and set goals. I attended several hours a week of special tutoring through junior high so I could to learn to overcome and adapt to these disabilities rather than succumb to them.”
Today, Scott’s goals are focused on pursuing a degree in agricultural/animal science at the University of Wyoming at Laramie. He says, “I want to combine my passion for livestock and exotic animals, encouraging governments around the world to develop conservation programs that allow exotics and livestock to co-exist.”
Scott developed a love of livestock at an early age; indeed, he quips, “Since before I was born. I literally grew up in the Fair’s Livestock Department where my mother, Kim Jacobson, was Livestock Coordinator.” He gained a deep knowledge of exotic animals on a trip with his mother to Costa Rica that was designed to show Howler and Spider monkeys, Camens, Three Toed Sloths, Poison Dart Frogs and other exotics in their natural habitat. With excitement, Scott recalls the trip’s highlight: “a night excursion to observe the Green Sea Turtle exit the ocean, dig a hole and lay her eggs.”
Scott says,” I was stoked to learn I won the scholarship. I’ve known about Don Diego all my life. I’ve read about students who won, but I never dreamed it might be me.”
Adults who have watched Scott’s progress with pride are delighted but not surprised.
In their letter of recommendation, his Terra Bella Ranch employers, Jeff and Nicolina Alves, wrote, “Scott embodies the qualities of the late and respected Tom Hernandez [AKA Don Diego] and the values that the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is looking for. Like the appeal of the Don Diego Statue, smiling and welcoming with hat in hand, Scott Jacobson is a shining symbol of the quality young leader you desire to represent your Fair community.”
The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than $600,000 in college scholarships and grants for agricultural education since 1986. Annual scholarships support students who are ambassadors for the county, academically and through their achievements. Funds are raised through an annual gala, the Amigo Club, which offers entrance to year-round Fairgrounds events for just $99, and donations. For more information, please visit www.dondiegoscholarship.org and follow Don Diego at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Don-Diego-Scholarship-Foundation/140722662654337.