Chaplains bless Strathmore grad with coin, scholarship
VISALIA – A Strathmore High School graduate was not only blessed with prayers from chaplains with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, they also helped answer her prayer for money for college.
Spartan alumna Kimberly Cortez was awarded the Sheriff’s Chaplain Corps’ annual scholarship on Sept. 8. The 18-year-old Cortez is about to begin her college career at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She plans to double major in Agricultural Business and Agricultural Education.
She was chosen among many applicants, all of whom are immediate family members of employees at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Raising funds for the Chaplains Corps scholarship goes above and beyond their volunteer duties as chaplains, including riding along with patrol, said Lt. Rob Schimpf who oversees the Corps.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our Chaplain Corps and the services they provide to our deputies and their families,” he said. “Kimberly is an exceptional young lady and very deserving of the annual scholarship. We wish her all the best.”
For Kimberly’s mother, Anna Cortez, who works in the Sheriff’s Records Department, the scholarship is appreciated for her youngest child.
“I’m humbled that you chose her,” she said.
Chaplain Jose Velasco gave Kimberly a Bible and a Chaplain’s Coin to remind her to keep the faith and to remember that the Sheriff’s Chaplains Corps is praying for her.
Kimberly is a recent graduate of Strathmore High School with a GPA of 4.08. She was President of her class all four years of her high school career and she also served as both President and Vice President of the Associated Student Body. She played varsity soccer, was involved in Future Farmers of America and worked part-time for CSET going door to door in East Porterville passing out water to residents during the drought.
She said she wants to teach agriculture and is interested in opening her own animal shelter. Her mother said Kimberly is famous for bringing home stray pets, including up to nine dogs, six of which she has found homes for. Currently, she has three dogs, one guinea pig and one fish.