Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society offers scholarships to graduating seniors

Scholarship recipients Tim Holdsworth and Shea Irwin with Corresponding Secretary Cindi Clemons.
(Kristina Houck)

Solana Beach high school seniors searching for scholarships can apply to a local organization for support.

For the third year, the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society is offering scholarships to local college-bound students. Two $1,000 one-time awards are available.

“We wanted to give back to the community,” said Pat Coad, chairwoman of the society’s education committee. “Since we do civic and historical work, we felt that giving back to kids in the community ... would honor them in some way.”

Applicants must be graduating seniors who live in Solana Beach and will be attending a four-year college, community college or technical school. They must also maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average, demonstrate financial need and be involved in the community.

In addition to the application form, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher and another from an adult who is not related to the applicant and can provide information regarding the student’s community service and volunteerism.

The deadline to apply is April 30.

Following the deadline, the education committee reviews the applications and selects the two scholarship recipients based on financial need, grade point average, community activities, extracurricular involvement, awards and recognition, and the letters of recommendation. Winners are notified soon after.

Proceeds from the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society’s Holiday Boutique benefit the scholarship program and the society’s other community projects.

To host the Holiday Boutique, a craft group meets monthly to create items for the annual fundraiser, which includes handcrafted items, holiday decorations, baked goods and raffle prizes.

“The ladies that do the Holiday Boutique are just wonderful,” Coad said. “They work all year long to pull off this wonderful, wonderful sale.”

Providing financial support to college-bound Solana Beach students is just one of the ways the society gives back to the community.

The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society evolved from the Solana Beach Women’s Civic Club, which was formed in 1953. The City Council asked the club in 1989 to become custodians of the city’s history. The club’s Certificate of Incorporation was then modified to create the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society, and membership became open to all adults in the community.

Today the society focuses on civic and cultural advancement, education and philanthropy. Some of the projects the society has sponsored over the years include the renovation of Fletcher Cove Community Center, the acquisition of the Gateway property and the continued beautification of the city through plantings and public art. The society also educates local students and community members about Solana Beach’s history through programs at the Heritage Museum located in La Colonia Park.

“We’re the ones who hold onto the past, as well as look to how we can help the community for the future,” said Coad, who has been a member of the society for about 20 years. “I’m a member of this community, and I really love the community. I feel like Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society is a wonderful organization that gives back to the community.”

A retired kindergarten teacher, Coad initially suggested creating a scholarship program when she and other society members were discussing new ways to get involved in the community more than three years ago.

Last year the society awarded $1,000 scholarships to Canyon Crest Academy graduate Shea Irwin and Torrey Pines High School graduate Tim Holdsworth. Irwin is now studying art and design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Holdsworth is studying mechanical engineering and sociology at the University of San Diego.

They have both since written letters to the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society.

“We got two absolutely wonderful letters from the kids telling us about their years and how it was going,” Coad said. “We felt good. We felt like this had all been a wonderful thing.”

The scholarship application is available online at the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society’s website. For more information, visit