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SHS honors seniors with scholarships

The Shafter High School Senior Awards took place last Thursday, giving Shafter's seniors a total of over $100,000 in scholarships. The event was held at the Fred Starrh Performing Arts Center on the high school campus.

Over 150 seniors were presented with scholarships, giving them a head start on their future educational journey. Principal Russell Shipley welcomed the family and friends of the students. "I am so excited and proud of this graduating class. They have been through so many challenges and obstacles, only to come out of the experience better young men and women."

Among the honorees was Jesus Figueroa, who was presented with 11 scholarships, including the Fred Houston Memorial Scholarship and the CIF Central Section Scholarship. [See separate story.]

Each student honored walked across the stage, collecting their scholarship, their last walk across the stage as high school seniors.

Another student that stood out during the evening was Ebelin Gomez, who received the AARP Scholarship, Dick Garber Scholarship, PLTW Engineering Award and Wonderful Education Scholars Award.

There was a near record this year as over 200 students were awarded special cords that signify their acceptance as lifetime members of the California Scholastic Federation. They will wear these cords at graduation on Wednesday, May 29.

Thanks went out to the Lopez family who, once again this year, provided refreshments and desserts at the cafeteria following the awards ceremony.

The Lopez family has had several generations of alumni who have graduated from Shafter High School. They also sponsor an annual golf tournament to raise money for their own family scholarship that is presented at the ceremony.

As for the scholarships, qualifications for each award are established by the various individuals and organizations making the presentation. Some may place emphasis on financial need, while others may deem scholastic excellence to be more important. Whatever the selection processes, every award given is a tangible way to show that these donors have confidence in the students' ability and want to help them make their future education possible.

The event was led by Scholarship Coordinator Esther De La Cruz, who organizes the scholarship program. "She is truly dedicated to the students, and we thank her for all of her tireless work here at Shafter High," concluded Shipley.


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