By Emma Marsano | Special to the Almanac
Among low-income students who are the first in their families to go to college, less than 50 percent graduate from college in six years, according to the Peninsula College Fund.
Such a statistic makes the work of the college fund, whose mission is to help underserved Midpeninsula youth graduate from college, that much more important.
Beyond giving a $12,000 scholarship to each of its recipients, the fund provides one-on-one mentoring, summer internship support, and training to help its students succeed in college and their careers.
This year, the fund chose 20 students from nine local high schools to receive scholarships and support. That's the largest group of students to date, says college fund spokesperson Carole Melis.
Here are the recipients, listed by high school, and followed by the colleges they plan to attend:
● Menlo-Atherton High School: Kevin Maravilla, Notre Dame De Namur University; Xochilt Silva, California State University, Chico; and Talmai Soto Abarca, Dominican University of California.
● Woodside High School: Mayte Aguilar Cruz, U.C. Merced; Lizette Cuevas, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; and Jordan Gomez, U.C. Santa Barbara.
● Summit Preparatory Charter High School: Ingrid Avila, Willamette University; and Alexis Straiten, Loyola Marymount University.
● Eastside College Preparatory School: Andre Gomes, Boston College; Amanda Russell, U.C. Santa Cruz; and Erik Ortega, U.C. Berkeley.
● Gunn High School: Araceli Castaneda-Ramirez, San Francisco State University; and Brigitte Yerena, San Jose State University.
● Palo Alto High School: Jose Torres, University of Redlands; and Dalia Lopez, Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.
● Sequoia High School: Paul Santiago Chavez, U.C. Merced; Carol Joselyn Murguia Hernandez,
U.C. Merced; and Carla Paredes, U.C. Riverside.
● Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy: Miguel Cornelio, San Francisco State University.
● East Palo Alto Academy High School: Mayra Garcia Adame, U.C. Riverside.
On June 19, an awards ceremony was held for the scholarship recipients at Sacred Heart Preparatory in Atherton.
Go to the PeninsulaCollegeFund.org for more information.