Ventura College Foundation Distributes Over $750,000 In Scholarships

The Ventura College Foundation presented scholarships to 240 students for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Isabel Mercado (Trinity Wheeler Photography)
Isabel Mercado (Trinity Wheeler Photography)
VENTURA, Calif. - May 23, 2022 - PRLog -- The Ventura College Foundation presented scholarships to 240 students for the 2022-2023 academic year during its 33rd Annual Scholarship Awards ceremony, May 13, at the Ventura College Athletic Center. There were 446 scholarships awarded, including nine new scholarships, totaling $756,908. Last year's distribution amount was $652,758.

Some students are using their scholarship funds to pay for certificate programs to prepare for in-demand trades. Christopher Hightland, 35, is a Navy veteran who was deployed overseas. He received two veteran-focused scholarships. With a 4.0 GPA, he just completed his Computerized Numerical Controlled (CNC) 1 Machining course at the new Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab on campus and is enrolled in its CNC 2 course.

"After serving in the military, veterans can find it hard to find their place in the civilian world," says Hightland. "Becoming a student at Ventura College gave me a sense of belonging. The opportunity to be part of the new Machining program has been a game-changer for my career path. I want to take my education and experience to an innovative company in the machining industry."

For multiple scholarship winner Alyna Zarate, 19, her career goal is to become a lawyer or political science professor. She originally studied biology, but after she became involved in student government at Ventura College, her interests shifted.

"The scholarships showed me the potential in myself, that I can do anything in this world," says Zarate. Besides her involvement in student government, Zarate volunteers with the Coalition for Literacy, which helps adults and students struggling to read. "Growing up, my parents always told me to give back to the community. At the end of the day, I want to make a difference in someone's life."

Twenty-one-year-old Isabel Mercado is taking courses in automotive technology. "Computers are now driving the automotive industry. The automotive technology certification is the gold standard for automotive excellence," says Mercado who is currently a mechanic for Toyota of Oxnard. " My goal is to become a master technician at Toyota. The company is very innovative, especially with electric vehicles and zero emissions."

A two-scholarship recipient, Mercado is a first-generation college student. She works and goes to school full-time. "The scholarships allow me to prioritize school while still providing for my mom and family," says Mercado. "The scholarships mean a lot to me. I'll be able to graduate debt-free."

Scholarship applications will be accepted for the next academic year beginning in the Fall. For more about the Ventura College Foundation and donation opportunities, go to

Diane Rumbaugh
Email:*** Email Verified
Tags:Ventura College Foundation
Location:Ventura - California - United States
Account Email Address Verified     Account Phone Number Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse
Ventura College Foundation News
Most Viewed
Daily News

Like PRLog?
Click to Share