29 Eagle County seniors receive over $400,000 in scholarships from Dollars for Scholars
The high school students were recognized at the annual YouthPower365 Dollars for Scholars event on Tuesday, May 11
Over $400,000 in scholarship funds were awarded to 29 high school seniors from across Eagle County at the Vail Valley Foundation’s annual YouthPower365 Dollars for Scholars event Tuesday evening.
At this year’s event, students from five of the county’s high schools were recognized for their academic accomplishments, community involvement and leadership during a dinner and awards ceremony.
This year’s recipients represent a variety of futures and dreams, pursuing degrees and careers in everything from hospitality, engineering and public policy to neuroscience and sports medicine.
“Each year, I am inspired by our students wanting to learn, grow, discover and ultimately give back to their community one day,” said Brittany Kinney, program manager for YouthPower365’s PwrOn program.
Dollars for Scholars first came about in 2001 when several Eagle Valley scholarship sponsors came together and advocated for broader access to higher education for Eagle County students. The collective group — now called The Eagle River Valley Scholarship Collaboration — created a single scholarship application for local students that would give students better access to local and state scholarship funds.
“As the cost of college rises and the college system becomes increasingly difficult to navigate, students are facing increasing need of support to navigate their way through school,” Kinney said. “Whether a student is pursuing a certificate, trade degree, Bachelor’s or beyond, we want to assure that their number one worry is homework, volunteerism and gaining experience to thrive in the workforce.”
Students that complete the application are eligible for 12 scholarships — 11 of which are only available to local Eagle County graduates. While the students only have to complete one application, each scholarship donor creates its own criteria, some with individual considerations and requests. Applicants are considered based on their academic accomplishments, community involvement, financial need, life circumstances, work experience and overall interview performance.
The program supports students that are pursuing 4-year university programs as well as “less traditional career goals,” such as community college and vocational programs, according to Kinney.
Not only do the scholarships support different paths to further education, but they reflect the diversity of the area’s student populations. This includes everyone from student athletes (Eric Spry Memorial scholarship) and students who show artistic abilities (June S. Kang Love of the Arts Scholarship) to female students (the Vail Valley Business Women, Girl PowHER and the Crissa Lea Swinford Memorial scholarships).
This year, the scholarship collective added two additional scholarships: the Ed and Margo Lupberger scholarship and a new scholarship from YouthPower365.
The Ed and Margo Lupberger scholarship was specifically created to support first-generation Latinx students who have displayed leadership and service to their community. This year, the scholarship is gifting $100,000 across its eight recipients.
Additionally, YouthPower365 launched its own scholarship this year that supports students who have participated and remained engaged in its programs over the years. It is awarding two $5,000 scholarships: one for up to four years of higher education for use towards tuition and fees and the second for up to four years of trade school. Both will be paid $1,250 per year for four years.
As the school year winds down and seniors prepare to graduate in a few weeks, this event is a celebration of what is yet to come for the students.
“We believe that education is a key that opens the door to opportunity,” Kinney said. “Together as a community we can provide scholarships, internships, mentorship and guidance that uplifts our young people to find success.”
2021 Scholarships and Awardees:
Alexander J. Allen Trust Scholarship
Awarded to: Dania Lopez, Battle Mountain High School; Taylor Macik, Red Canyon High School; Brandon Sanchez, Battle Mountain; Jessica Sherpa, Vail Mountain School.
Ed and Margo Lupberger Scholarship
Awarded to: Adriana Gallegos Helguera, Eagle Valley High School; Alexis Hermosillo, Eagle Valley; Ariana Lopez Gonzalez, Battle Mountain; Noelia Escobar Ponce, Eagle Valley; Michelle Pena, Battle Mountain; Saul Guardado, Battle Mountain; Lizeth Leon, Battle Mountain; Karina Recendiz, Battle Mountain.
Tom and Margaret Edwards Scholarship
Awarded to: Alexis Hermosillo, Eagle Valley
Girl PowHER Scholarship
Awarded to: Alexis Hermosillo, Eagle Valley and Karina Recendiz, Battle Mountain.
Crissa Lea Swinford Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to: Ariana Lopez Gonzalez, Battle Mountain
Vail Valley Business Women Scholarship
Awarded to: Olivia Holguin, Vail Mountain School; Zaira Najera Rodriguez, Eagle Valley; Grace McCurdy, Vail Christian High School; Anamaria Montes De La Fuente, Vail Christian; and Aryana Jimenez, Battle Mountain.
Vail Health Employee Dependent Scholarship
Awarded to: Andore Horruitiner, Battle Mountain; Amanda Sessler, Eagle Valley; Maragert Grems, Vail Christian; and Alden Pennington, Battle Mountain.
June S. Kang Love of the Arts Scholarship
Awarded to: Esther San Diego, Eagle Valley
Eric Spry Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to: Stephanie Delgado, Battle Mountain
Awarded to: Saul Guardado, Battle Mountain
Awarded to: Lizeth Leon, Battle Mountain and Angel Perez Juarez, Eagle Valley
Awarded to: Lizbeth Andare, Battle Mountain; Martin Cano Reyes, Eagle Valley; Jamshid Khonturaev, Battle Mountain; Maximiliano Ledezma, Battle Mountain and Abigail Solis, Eagle Valley.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.