Westlands Water District announces recipients of its 2020 West Side Scholarship
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathryn Boren
FRESNO, June 19, 2020 – Westlands Water District is proud to announce the recipients of its 2020 West Side Scholarship. The West Side Scholarship program recognizes and rewards exceptional academic achievement and leadership shown by graduating seniors at area high schools.
“Westlands is proud to recognize these outstanding students,” commented Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands. “These scholarships represent a small gesture of thanks to the communities on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley that make our region productive and vibrant. Our hope is that these students will continue to contribute to their communities and make them even better for future generations.”
The recipients of the 2020 scholarships are:
Maria G. Ledezman Arreola – Maria, a senior at Firebaugh High School, plans to attend California State University, Fresno, in the fall of 2020. Maria worked as a teacher’s aide at St. Joseph Elementary School, was a group leader for the St. Joseph’s youth group, an active member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Firebaugh chapter and an FFA State Degree holder. Maria’s dedication to her education was recognized with her status as an Honor Roll student and by making the Superintendent’s list all four years high school. Maria, who is described as a leader among her peers and passionate about teaching others, plans to pursue a degree in liberal studies and aspires to become an elementary school teacher.
Kenia Madelin Servellon Ayala – Kenia, a senior at Mendota High School, plans to attend California State University, Fresno, in the fall of 2020. Kenia volunteered as a translator in her spare time for patients at a rural clinic, worked in her school cafeteria at break and lunch, was an active member of FFA and was a Link Crew member at Mendota High School, which helps steward underclassmen through their high school experience. Kenia carried an impressive grade point average throughout high school while challenging herself with several advanced placement and honors courses. Kenia plans to return to her community after college to serve as a school counselor for her high school.
Magdalena Gallindo – Magdalena, an honors student at Coalinga High School, plans to attend California State University, Fullerton, in the fall of 2020. Magdalena played tennis all four years of her high school career while also volunteering at her church and United Health Care Centers. She participated in several clubs, earned the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony Award and the AP Scholar Award and was on the Principal’s Honor Roll. Magdalena was described as a leader, a student who always goes above and beyond and as an individual who never hesitates to give back to her community.
Diego Lopez – Diego, a senior at Lemoore High School, plans to attend West Hills Community College in the fall of 2020. Diego served his school and classmates as a teacher’s aide, as well as a project manager and active member for the FFA Agriculture Pathway at Lemoore High School. Diego plans to continue his education in agriculture after West Hills Community College at a 4-year university and earn his degree in Agricultural Project Management.
Sienna Rollin – Sienna, an honors student from Riverdale High School, plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall of 2020. Sienna volunteered extensively at the Poverello House serving the homeless, the Veterans Affairs Hospital where she aided patients, and Hands Across the Valley as a youth volunteer. Sienna has received numerous awards throughout her high school career including the California Dairy Milk Advisory Board District 8 Dairy Princess title, the Supreme Milk Cow at the Big Fresno Fair, the FFA Chapter Greenhand Degree, and the Veteran’s Affairs Central California Health Care System youth Volunteer of the Year. Sienna plans to major in Agricultural Communications, purse a law degree and someday serve as the US Secretary of Agriculture.
Kimberly Valadez – Kimberly is the first student from Tranquillity High School to be accepted to an Ivy League School. Kimberly will be attending Cornell University in fall of 2020. Kimberly, only a junior, will graduate from Tranquillity High School with honors and with an associate’s degree from West Hills Community College. Kimberly was actively involved in her school’s FFA chapter where she served as the Chapter Chaplain and Secretary. Kimberly participated in cross country, Upward Bound serving her fellow students, as well as mock trial. She aspires to major in linguistics and become a forensic pathologist.
Each scholarship recipient will receive $1,000 for community college or university expenses. Applicants were judged on their academic performance, school activities and community leadership.
Westlands Water District congratulates each of these talented students and wishes them the best of luck in their future academic and professional careers.