Menlo Park Kiwanis Club awards $41,000 in scholarships to M-A graduating seniors

by Judy Horst on June 1, 2016

Eight outstanding Menlo-Atherton High School seniors received scholarships at the Kiwanis Club’s annual scholarship luncheon, Tuesday, May 24th, at the Allied Arts Guild. This year’s scholarship awards totaled $41,000. More than $1 million has been awarded to local students during the lifetime of the Club’s scholarship program.

“There are many deserving students at M-A,” said John Martin, Chair of the Kiwanis Club’s Scholarship Committee. “We interview the students to learn more about their academic achievements, commitments to service and plans for college. It was obvious from their academic honors, community involvement and the broad range of interests each has, that this year’s scholarship winners are exceptional and very motivated. They will do well in college, and in life.“

Eight students received scholarships:

Lesly Gopar Chavez was awarded the William D. Martin Memorial Scholarship. She will be attending the University of California Davis and plans to major in Psychology, a great area of interest to her as a result of her volunteer work with children.

Ritwik Kesavath received the Damon Wedding Memorial Scholarship which he will use to attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. A member of the M-A Robotics Team for four years and the Quiz Bowl Team for three years, he plans to get a degree in Computer Engineering.

Caroline Sobek was awarded the Les Cutting Memorial Scholarship and will study Bio-Chemistry and minor in Statistics at UCLA this fall. Her passion for both fields is the result of an opportunity to participate in Paleo-Biology lab research at Stanford and her work as the statistician for the MA wrestling team and other school activities.

Sharon Ontiveros Cuevas will attend the University of San Francisco to major in both Chemistry and Spanish or Portuguese. She has a summer internship at Stanford in Stem Cell Research and would like to help people as a Physician Researcher focusing on stem cell research.

Orbelina Alvarado Carranza will attend Canada College this fall. After finishing school there, she will select a college to advance her plans to study Business Administration or Law so that she can work with immigrant communities.

Ariel Sullivan’s volunteer experiences in Future Career Community Leaders of America and her advocacy for drought prevention influenced her choice for college. She will be attending Sewanee University of the South this fall. The school has a 99% green ratio, which fits nicely with her desire to study Environmental & Sustainable Services. She also plans to major in Spanish.

Luis Acosta-Linares will attend the University of California in Berkeley and will focus on Science, possibly Neuro Science. He will intern with Kaiser this summer as part of its Partners In Health program.

Carlos Acosta-Linares hopes to become a Pharmacist. He will study both Pharmacy and Public Health at the University of California Merced. This summer he will intern with Kaiser as part of its Partners In Health program.

Menlo Park Kiwanis Club is an active and committed partner to many non-profit organizations, having given over $100,000 last year in support of local projects. These include scholarships for Menlo-Atherton High School graduates and volunteer work with St Anthony’s Dining Room, Tour deCure of Diabetes, Special Games for physically challenged youth, Rebuilding Together and Menlo Park’s Kite Day. The Club’s annual Christmas Tree Lot is the major source of funding for all of these philanthropic activities. Visitors are welcome to the Club’s weekly luncheon meetings, Tuesdays, 12:00-1:15 pm, at the Allied Arts Guild. To reserve a spot call 650-580-4441.

Photo caption: John Martin, Menlo Park Kiwanis Club Scholarship Chair (left) and Bruce Wellings, Kiwanis Club President (right), handed out eight scholarships to Sharon Ontiveros Cuevas, Caroline Sobek, Ritwik Kesavath, Lesly Gopar Chavez, Ariel Sullivan, Carlos Acosta-Linares, Luis Acosta-Linares, and Orbelina Alvarado Carranza.

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