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Tulare County high school grads earn $20K four-year scholarships from Calif. Table Grape Commission

Tulare County high school grads earn $20K four-year scholarships from Calif. Table Grape Commission

@TheSunGazette

FRESNO – Nicholas Patton of Visalia is a prime example of how the work ethic and leadership skills learned in Future Farmers of America (FFA) help students finds success in and outside of the classroom. Nicholas graduated from Golden West High School last month with a 4.0 grade point average and an MVP award for his final year on the Trailblazers water polo team. Just last week, Nicholas received a different kind of award – a four-year scholarship worth $20,000.

Nicholas plans to use that money to major in biotechnology at UC Davis before pursuing a master’s degree in biological engineering from Cornell University. His final goal is to develop new food technologies.

He was among seven students in California to receive a scholarship from the California grape growers through the California Table Grape Commission. Two other students received a $20,000, four-year scholarship for agriculture studies, Shafter High School graduate Juan Espinoza and Kingsburg High School grad Zachary Wilson.

The commission also awarded four field worker scholarships, three for $20,000 to attend a California university and one for $3,500 to attend a vocational program. Diego Garcia, a graduate of Harmony Magnet Academy High School in Strathmore, received a $20,000 award to major in neurobiology, physiology, and behavior at UC Davis. Diego graduated with a 4.17 grade point average and his SAT score placed him in the 89th percentile nationally. He was also a California Scholastic Federation member as well as an adult literacy volunteer. He plans to use his education to become a surgeon.

Others who received the $20,000 scholarship for field workers were Shafter High School graduate Alex Aguilar and Cesar E. Chavez High School graduate Julissa Elizondo. The $3,500 award went to Stephanie Torres. A recent graduate of Porterville High School, Stephanie plans to attend the Clovis Culinary Arts Academy and will pursue a career as a pastry chef.

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