2019 Friends of Solana Beach Library Scholarship winners (left to right): Diana Hernandez, Wendy Mendoza and Ella Chambers

On Wednesday evening, May 29, the Friends of the Solana Beach Library recognized three Solana Beach residents with the organization’s 2019 Scholarship awards at a celebration at the Library.

The recipients of the three $2,000 scholarships — Ella Chambers, Diana Hernandez and Wendy Mendoza — were recognized for outstanding academic achievement; intelligence, integrity, hard work and determination; dedication to their family and peers; and service to their school, their community and the world beyond. All three scholars this year are graduating seniors at Torrey Pines High School.

Ella Chambers attended a Spanish immersion program in elementary school, became fluent in Spanish, and in high school volunteered as a tutor for the North County Immigration and Citizenship Center’s Pathways to Citizenship program. Ella emerged as a natural leader and a source of good ideas for improving the program, so the Center hired her. Under her leadership as Citizenship Volunteer Coordinator, the Pathways program has to date produced 57 new citizens, with a 100% passing rate. Ella will study political science at Miami University of Ohio in preparation for a career in law and public policy.

Diana Hernandez will study chemistry in college — it’s her favorite subject, especially the math component of chemistry. During her high school years she has also pursued interests in painting, photography and music. She will begin her college career at MiraCosta College this fall and then transfer to University of California, Merced. She plans to become a pediatrician. Diana credits community programs such as the mentoring program at Casa de Amistad, and Boys and Girls Club internships, community service programs and college trips, with helping her learn English, gain self-confidence and succeed in her education. She has given back to the community by volunteering for events in La Colonia and at the library, at Father Joe’s Village, and the Boys and Girls Club.

Wendy Mendoza will study behavioral neuroscience at University of San Diego and plans to become a doctor of medicine. As a child Wendy was part of the tutoring program at Casa de Amistad, where she observed the positive influence of the program’s tutors on herself and others. Like many of the students who have benefitted from Casa de Amistad’s program, when she reached high school Wendy became a volunteer herself, and she now tutors elementary students in math, reading and writing. She has also served as a volunteer through St. Leo’s Mission, the AVID club at Torrey Pines High School, and the Boys and Girls Club.

At the May 29th ceremony Linnea Dayton, chair of the Friends of the Solana Beach Library Scholarship Committee, introduced the students and welcomed their families, current and former teachers and mentors, and other celebrants from the community. Vickie Driver, president of the Friends, presented the students with their scholarship certificates and checks, Friends coffee mugs, congratulatory bouquets and gift cards for use in the Friends Title Wave bookstore at the library

Friends of the Solana Beach Library
2018 Scholarships

On May 22, the Friends of the Solana Beach Library Board of Directors recognized four Solana Beach scholars with the organization’s 2018 Scholarship awards.

The four student recipients of the awards were recognized for outstanding academic achievement; intelligence, integrity, hard work and determination; dedication to their family and peers; and service to their schools, their community, and the world beyond.

President Vickie Driver presented the awards on behalf of the Friends of the Library in a ceremony at the library, with the students’ families and some of their former teachers in attendance.

2018 Friends of the Solana Beach Library Scholarship recipients
(left to right)
Daniela Conde, Lucia Saldivar, Keila De La O, and Jose Becerra

Scholarship recipient Daniela Conde credits her first-grade teacher, Jill Cooper at Solana Vista Elementary, with seeing her potential and encouraging her to succeed in school. Daniela has a completed BA degree at University of San Diego and an MA at the Teaching College of Columbia University. She was planning to enter a two-year teaching certification and Master’a degree program at New York University this fall, which would qualify her to teach at the community college level while she works on her PhD in literature. But she has instead deferred her scholarship award and will use it to enter the PhD program directly in 2019. Daniela’s resumé includes numerous honors, awards, and service and leadership roles in campus and community activities, as well as an impressive employment history in San Diego and New York.

A dedicated student at Torrey Pines High School, Lucia Saldivar sought out Casa de Amistad’s tutoring program. Her tutor, Emily Hester, recalls that Lucia was often the last to leave the tutoring room as she stayed to finish one more math problem or type one more paragraph. Through her volunteer work and employment experience, Lucia has confirmed what she already knew from her family life — that she loves helping people, is eager to learn new things, and is willing to stay until all work is completed. Lucia will begin her post-secondary education at MiraCosta College, transfer to complete a nursing program, and then begin a career as a nurse.

Life-long Solana Beach resident Keila De La O’s ties to the community include both volunteering and employment at the San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club, Solana Beach Soccer Cub, Study Buddies (a program of AVID [Advancement Via Individual Determination]), Reality Changers, and the St. Leo’s Youth Ministry. She was Secretary of the Torrey Pines High School Junior Optimists Octagon International club for two years, and this year served as President. She has organized several community service projects, a book drive and a membership campaign. Keila plans to attend University of California at Merced, studying human biology in preparation for medical school and a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Jose Becerra, through his work at the San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club, has helped younger kids in Solana Beach by teaching bike safety, helping with homework, and assisting with special events in the community. Working in the Torrey Pines High School PALS program, he and his team produced a winning public service announcement on suicide prevention for the Fifth Annual Directing Change Film Contest (you can see their “Light at the End of the Tunnel” at Jose will start at MiraCosta College in the fall and plans to transfer to California State University at Chico to earn a degree in Construction Management.

Congratulations, 2018 Friends Scholars!