Suze Diaz — What is more exciting and rewarding time in a student’s life than graduation? With “Pomp and Circumstance” ceremonies saluting the dynamic Class of 2019, another added joyful occasion to celebrate the new graduates was the distribution of scholarship awards. Many students have put in huge efforts, provided a lot of hard work and commitment to excellence into their applications to various scholarships. In addition to traditional high school (athletic, memorial and scholastic), college and university scholarships; local companies (such as Vista Irrigation District, San Diego County Ford Dealers, Watkins Wellness, and Tri-City Hospital), community service organizations (such as Women’s Club of Vista, Vista Chamber of Commerce, AVID, and Kiwanis Club of Sunrise Vista) and military (Vista VFW, Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines) have generously contributed time and a healthy financial support for scholarship opportunities.
With over 1.4 million members, Lions Club International is the largest service organization in the world with approximately 46,000 clubs in 200 countries and are committed to helping those in need today as over 100 years ago when it first began. Each Lions Club is changing lives by addressing the needs of the community in ways both great and small. Service is a personal journey that impacts the people serving and the people served. Chartered in 1992, local club chapter Pride of Vista Lions were thrilled and proud to re-establish their Scholarship Foundation this year to award a $500 scholarship to one recipient in four high schools in the Vista School Unified District for an award total of $2,000. The Pride of Vista Lions is thankful for the opportunity to serve their community and look forward to expand more award possibilities for future scholarship recipients. Dedicated college career counselors at each of the high schools were hard-working, caring and motivating in their support to their seniors in securing successful award attainments for their students’ college future. Pride of Vista Lions delightedly worked alongside with counselors Lisa Borawski (Guajome Park Academy), Nikki Hernandez (Mission Vista High School), Stephen Soderback (Vista High School) and Colleen Williams (Rancho Buena Vista High School).
Lions Club International’s motto is “We Serve” and is a tremendous supporter in providing volunteer service around the world. Prospective scholarship award students were required to submit a 500-word essay along with their application with the topic “How has your work of volunteering in community service impacted your community and how has it specifically impacted you?” Submissions were note worthy, thought provoking and a positive sight to the Pride of Vista Lions club members as they gathered on two of their club meeting nights to review and choose the winning essay for each high school. Four particularly exceptional essays impressed the club members into a collaborative agreement to selected these successful recipients for their award ceremony nights: Rosa Amairani Gonzalez Alavez (Vista High School) who has been accepted at UCLA with a study interest in biochemistry to pursue her goal in the medical field; Salutatorian Anna Anderson (Mission Vista High School) who plans to attend UCLA with a study interest in biomedical engineering to pursue her goal as a bioengineer; Joanna Valdez Castro (Rancho Buena Vista High School) with a study interest in political science to pursue her goal to be a lawyer; and Doug Poffinbarger (Guajome Park Academy) who has been accepted at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a study interest in Liberal Studies to pursue his goal as a elementary teacher.
Participating in the dispersing of scholarship award achievements during the ceremony nights were Pride of Vista Lions Club President Crystal Pickering and club members Suze Diaz, Anita Hutchins, and Becky Hutchins. The tremendously engaging atmosphere of each ceremony was met with a multitude of pride, gratitude and a sea of huge smiles from parents, grandparents, students, aunts, uncles, and school administration staff as well as the scholarship presenters. Added bonuses in each of the high schools’ award presentations brought a heartfelt special touch to the delight of everyone who attended. It was indeed a captivating evening to see how bright the future is for the Class of 2019.
For anyone who would like to know how they can participate in serving as a positive impact influencer in the community, the Pride of Vista Lions Club happily welcomes you to one of their club meetings on the first and third Thursday of every month at Coyote Café located at 1450 North Santa Fe Drive in Vista at 7 PM.