Monday, May 16, 2016

Children of California Strawberry Farmworkers Awarded Educational Scholarships

Farmers Continue to Donate Funds to Annual Program that Helps Harvest Worker’s Kids Pursue College
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (May 13, 2016) — Helping children of strawberry farmworkers pursue college, the California Strawberry Commission today announced this year’s recipients of the California Strawberry Scholarship Program.

From the state’s strawberry growing regions, 261 high school graduates, and students attending other institutions of higher learning, will receive a combined total of $197,400 in scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year.

Now in its 23rd year, the program has awarded approximately $2 million to more than 1,000 children of California strawberry farm workers. Of the 2015-2017 scholarship recipients, 133 are from the Watsonville area, 97 from Santa Maria, 29 from Oxnard, and two from Orange County.

“Strawberry farming begins and ends with our farmworkers,” said Neil Nagata, Scholarship Committee Chair for the California Strawberry Commission. “Our strong commitment extends to their families, and we are honored to demonstrate this continuing commitment through the scholarship program. These awards invest in the people who make our crop possible, and help their children achieve their goals.”

Awards are based on individual merit and are sent directly to the student’s school to be applied toward tuition and books. To qualify, scholarship applicants must have at least one parent employed as a strawberry farmworker for the past two consecutive seasons. Students must attend an accredited vocational trade school, junior college or four-year university to be eligible for a scholarship. More than half of the students receiving funding this year currently attend four-year universities, community colleges or professional trade schools.

The California Strawberry Scholarship Program has contributed to students obtaining their educational degrees, including bachelor, master’s and PhD programs. Many recipients have entered professions that enable them to give back to their communities and families.

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