Rotary Club recognizes 11 students from City College with scholarships

Screengrab+from+the+Rotary+Club+of+Montecito%27s+virtual+awards+ceremony%2C+where+the+club+granted+scholarships+to+11+SBCC+students+for+their+achievements+during+this+year.

Ryan P. Cruz

Screengrab from the Rotary Club of Montecito’s virtual awards ceremony, where the club granted scholarships to 11 SBCC students for their achievements during this year.

Jacob Frank, News Editor

Eleven City College students received educational scholarships of $1,250 each from the Rotary Club of Montecito during a virtual award celebration on Tuesday, May 4, over Zoom.

Around 45 people attended the online celebration, which was co-hosted by the SBCC Foundation. Directors introduced the scholarships and students before the recipients spoke about their awards. 

“I’m so sorry we can’t be here in person,” said Geoff Green, chief executive officer of the SBCC Foundation. “But I have to say, I’m looking at that number on the screen and having 45 of us gathered on Zoom isn’t such a bad thing, all things considered.”

The eleven award winners came from a variety of departments and backgrounds.

Natalie Ryerson-Baumgartner from marine diving technology was awarded the Martin and Julia Koobation Scholarship, and Maria Silva, who studies early childhood education, was awarded the Kati and Peter Buehler Early Childhood Education Scholarship.

“The two years at City College have been really hard at times, but with the support of Dee and Kathy, I really was able to figure out what I want to do in life,” Silva said as she fought back tears. “I never thought I would ever get to this point in my life.”

Miguel Zepeda-Rosales from nursing won the Catherine Cash and Bruce McRoy Nursing Scholarship, and Genesis Anahi Garcia Zetino from accounting won the Lora and Tom Fisher Business Scholarship.

Seven students won in the category of Career Technical Scholarships; Ryan P. Cruz from journalism, Keisha Ayers from cosmetology, Quinn Cahoon from environmental horticulture, Mea Escruceria from medical imaging sciences, Fadi Helwani from computer-aided design/drafting and interior design, Lydia Strack from graphic design and Aurelio Uribe from construction technology.

“I really just want to thank my instructor Josh Molina. He’s been there by my side since the beginning and kind of seen something in me that I saw in myself, but showed me how to put that out in the world,” Cruz said. “Thank all of you here.”

Rotary International is a service and humanitarian organization with around 35,000 clubs worldwide, and the club has provided City College with $120,000 in Career Technical and Vocational Scholarships over the last 25 years.

“This partnership is unique in our experience,” Green said. “We don’t really have anything quite like this.”

Every year the SBCC Foundation provides more than $5.5 million for scholarships, success programs and other needs for City College. The scholarships offered by Rotary are just some of the hundreds of awards available to students.

“I think we all understand why this commitment we make every year is so significant,” said Rotary Club of Montecito President Kati Buehler. “Not only for the young people who are impacted by the scholarships, but just for the quality of our community and the strength it brings to every endeavor where these students end up.”