Years of hard work and dedication paid off last week for 44 high school seniors at and High Schools.
The students received a total of 66 scholarships—worth approximately $55,000—at the ’s 30th Anniversary and Pathways to Success 4th Annual Scholarship Luncheon last Friday at .
The event featured a who’s who of city and county dignitaries, including local city and district officials, Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Fred Sims and Alameda County District 2 Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, who helped present the awards.
New Stanford University football coach and class of 1991 Logan graduate was the special guest speaker for the ceremony. Shaw, who worked as an assistant coach in the NFL for 10 seasons in the past, imparted his wisdom to the soon-to-be college freshmen.
“I know all the trappings of being a young kid in this area,” Shaw said after the ceremony. “We need to support these young people that have put education first, and not just education, but higher education. We need to do more things like this.”
Each scholarship, ranging from $250 to $2,500, was sponsored by an individuals or organization in the local community.
Karen Alvarado won a $1,000 Union City 50th Anniversary Committee scholarship for her desire to pursue history in college. The award funds come from a seven-year endowment established by the committee in 2009.
“It’s a dream come true because I can continue with my studies,” said Karen, who plans to transfer to Santa Clara University after completing coursework at Chabot College.
Some students received more than one scholarship, including Benjamin Mabie and Diana Rosales, who received five each.
“I’m glad it has all paid off because I really need it,” said Diana, who was recently accepted to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I worked so hard since my freshman year,” she said. Diana has been a member of multiple campus organizations, including Ballet Folklorico, MeCha and the Puente Club. She was also a tutor for three years and worked part-time.
The awards luncheon also marked the 30th anniversary of the foundation. It was a celebration of former NHUSD Superintendent Guy Emanuele’s legacy in Union City, said Deputy City Manager Tony Acosta during the opening of the awards ceremony. Emanuele helped create excellent schools in Union City, Acosta said.
Emanuele’s wife, Kay, presented community member Jo Baig with the Guy Emanuele Community Service Award. Baig served on the schools foundation’s board of directors for 20 years. Kay also presented student Shiran Sukumar with the $1,000 Guy Emanuele Scholarship.
The foundation also awarded the Tom Kitayama Business Service Award to long-time supporters .
At the ceremony’s closing, Lockyer and NHUSD Superintendent Kari McVeigh stressed the importance of the students’ achievements. It wasn’t just about the students or the schools, it was about the community, McVeigh said.
“Twelve years ago, parents turned their children over to … all of us, to a community that says, ‘We will invest our time, our energy to take care of your child,” McVeigh said in her closing remarks. “We get to see that investment today.”