Every spring, El Nido Family Centers recognizes the achievements of a number of our college-bound clients by awarding them with scholarships. At a luncheon held at Cal State Los Angeles, on Thursday, June 23, we presented 35 El Nido program alumni with scholarships to assist them in furthering their education. We also congratulated our graduating four-year scholarship recipients, Evelyn Batres and Carolina Najarro, who earned their bachelors’ degrees in June from UCLA and Cal State Northridge, respectively.
For these young adults, the challenges they have faced during their high school years make a college education an impressive achievement: most of them come from challenging backgrounds, and are the first in their families to attend college. El Nido is proud to have awarded over $200,000 in scholarships since 1992. It has been a privilege to play a role in supporting and guiding the awardees as we invest in their futures.
Citibank: Citibank has been a longstanding supporter of El Nido. Beginning in 2008 they gave us our first grant to provide financial literacy classes at El Nido’s Pacoima FamilySource Center. Since that time they have expanded their support to include college scholarships for aspiring El Nido clients.
The Payson Wolff Memorial Scholarship Fund: Payson Wolff’s wife, Helen, established this scholarship in 1992 as a tribute to Payson’s dedicated service and commitment to El Nido’s mission. Both were long-time El Nido Board members who believed passionately that every young person has the ability to succeed in college, if given the guidance and support. The scholarship fund was an appropriate tribute to Payson’s legacy. To date, 254 Payson Wolff Memorial Scholarships have been awarded.
Shirley de Miranda Memorial Scholarship Fund: Jay de Miranda is a long–time supporter and former President of El Nido’s Board of Directors. In addition to providing support for El Nido programs, in 2011 he established the Shirley de Miranda Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his late wife Shirley. Like Jay, Shirley was an extremely caring generous person who came from humble means. To date Jay has donated 67 scholarships in Shirley’s name, including scholarships awarded to this year’s college graduates Evelyn Batres and Carolina Najarro.
El Nido Family Centers Alumni Association Scholarship: Our dynamic Alumni Association, which includes former clients who are college-bound, attending college or college graduates, created this scholarship as a way of giving back to El Nido. They are excellent representatives of the agency and important role models for current clients.
Robert W. Scrivner Memorial Scholarship: The Robert W. Scrivner Memorial Scholarship was announced during the Champions for Families Event in 2013 as a surprise to his daughter Katherine. She was there to receive her father’s El Nido Visionary Award, In Memoriam, for his outstanding leadership, risk-taking and long-lasting legacy in the philanthropy world. The scholarship is an impactful way of supporting a deserving El Nido client while carrying on Mr. Scrivner’s legacy.
Scott Matula-Beltch Scholarship: The Scott Matula-Beltch Scholarship was established in 2015 in honor of Scott’s personal commitment and dedication to furthering the mission of El Nido. Scott’s involvement with El Nido began with the Champions for Families gala. As part of the first Champions committee, Scott worked tirelessly to establish the annual event as El Nido’s premiere fundraising event. He eventually increased his involvement by co-chairing the event. The Champions committee members that served with Scott over the years established the Scott Matula-Beltch scholarship in honor of Scott and his selfless service to El Nido. Scott and Rob Matula-Belch, along with their family members and close friends, are delighted to continue funding this scholarship. The award was accepted by El Nido board president Stuart Berton on behalf of Luis Mancillas
Ella Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship: Ella Fitzgerald was more than just the First Lady of Song. Through the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, she wanted to use the fruits of her success to help people of all races, cultures and beliefs. For the past three years the foundation has provided a scholarship, plus other financial assistance.
Carmen Barreto Scholarship: Carmen Barreto is the mother of El Nido’s Regional Director, Margie Guzman. Carmen was a pioneer for women in education, as she graduated college in Puerto Rico during the early 60’s, setting a standard that has resulted in multi-generational college graduations in her family.
Rebecca Herrera Memorial Scholarship: “Beckie” was the oldest sister of El Nido’s Executive Director Liz Herrera. “She was a very compassionate person who cared deeply about the welfare of others, especially children.” It was Beckie’s example that inspired Liz to go into social work and devote her life to helping at-risk youth and families. She continues to inspire Liz to this day, even 21 years after her death. It was her firm belief that all young people deserve the opportunity to meet their true potential though higher education.