Aiming for post-secondary educational opportunities, Blaine County students have earned scholarships that will help them in future pursuits.
Blaine County Education Foundation (BCEF) executive director Kristy Heitzman helped originate a “Scholarship Fair” this past school year to consolidate tips and resources for local students navigating the complex process of applying to colleges and earning grants.
The result was 53 different scholarships given over 100 students applying from Wood River High School, Carey High School, Silver Creek High School and The Sage School.
BCEF is the only organization solely dedicated to supporting students at all eight schools in the Blaine County School District, according to the 2019-20 Local Scholarships Guide given to students.
Extremely helpful to the students in the process were the following administrators:
Counselors Liz Clark (BCSD Scholarship Liaison/WRHS College Career advisor), Kristen Swafford (BCSD College and Career), Kimberly Hocendoner (Carey), Chauncy Gardner and Royce Mussman (Sun Valley Community School), Nathan Kolar (The Sage School) as well as BCEF board members.
Scholarships are listed here. Other than the WRHS students, other recipients are listed by their schools, in parentheses:
- Leading the way was the Hailey Rotary Club, which has awarded scholarships at the high school since 1967.
The 12 Hailey Rotary grants were presented to Kali Herbst Minino, Cambria Morris, Josie Saleen, Walter Kriesien, Abigail Kirk, Jennyfer Zavala, Monica Hurtado, Emma Pulleiro, Diego Rosales, Sage Holter, Amy Aranda and Jennifer Jordan.
- Ketchum/Sun Valley Rotary announced 22 scholarship recipients.
The 14 from WRHS were Amy Aranda, Payson Bennett, Kate Stone, Anja Jensen, Walter Kriesien, Sascha Leidecker, Cambria Morris, Diego Rosales, Josie Saleen, Zoe Simon, Monica Hurtado, Kali Herbst Minino, Calvin Geissler and Astrid Zavala.
Six Carey High School recipients were Noelia Cruz, Kourtney Black, Ethan Hennefer, Carson Simpson, Bailie Morey and Lizbeth Ruiz. Rotary recipients from The Sage School were Trinity Hadam and Aidan McGonigal.
- Ten Sun Valley Board of Realtors Distinction in Community Service grants were given to Amy Aranda, Monica Hurtado, Calvin Geissler, Zoe Simon, Bailie Morey (Carey), Cambria Morris, Sofia Peller, Astrid Zavala, Natalie Christensen and Kali Herbst Minino.
- The Blaine County Education Association (BCEA) Member’s Student Scholarship went to Bailie Morey (Carey). Georgia Adams accepted the BCEA Scholarship for a student planning a career in education.
- BCEF GRIT scholarships based on character traits and perseverance were given to Noelia Cruz (Carey), Grace Bloomfield, Abigail Kirk, Cruz Sanchez, Payson Bennett, Melissa Gonzalez-Maza, Emma Pulleiro and Astrid Zavala.
- Diego Rosales earned another BCEF scholarship.
- The seventh-year multi-year awards called the AGL Foundation First Generation Scholarships went to Diego Rosales, Sharom Yallico, Isai
- Mendoza, Jennyfer Zavala, Melissa Gonzalez-Maza and Astrid Villa.
AGL recipients are the first in their families planning to attend college.
Other scholarship winners
- Receiving the sixth-year Chuck Gates Youth Endowment Scholarships were Zoe Simon, Natalie Christensen and Cambria Morris.
- Barbara Cimino Memorial Scholarship winner: Jacqueline Juarez.
- Eight students received Student of Hispanic Origin Continuing Scholarships in memory of Jim Cimino
They were Natalia Ortiz Garcia, Isai Mendoza, Jennyfer Zavala, Jacqueline Tellez, Zayra Martinez, Astrid Zavala, Cruz Sanchez and Sarai Rojas (Carey).
- PEO Chapter CH/Myrle Bradshaw Scholarship winner was Kali Herbst Minino.
Many memorial scholarships were announced, including the Josh Pollock Memorial that was given for a 24th year by Randy and Sheila Pollock in memory of their son, 1991 Wood River grad Josh Pollock.
- Samuel “Davey” Schrader received the Josh Pollock Memorial STEM Scholarship for students pursuing a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM).
- Bob Shay Memorial Scholarship from the David Ketchum American Legion Post (given for the 21st year): Connor May.
- The Wende Lee Thornton Memorial Scholarship from the Thornton family (presented for the 16th year): Isai Mendoza.
- The Alan and Diane Johnson Memorial Scholarship (18th year): Astrid Zavala.
- The seventh-year Cindy Kesting Memorial Scholarship presented by Sun Valley Realtors Give went to Zoe Simon.
- Given in memory of devoted musician Olivia Marie Stimac, the Ollie’s Gift scholarships were presented to Jennifer Jordan, Natalie Christensen and Samantha White.
- Earning the Ashley C. Yagla Memorial Scholarship was Monica Hurtado. Ashley was a firefighter/EMT who dedicated her life to helping others.
- Marika Versis (Carey) was the recipient of the first “My Life Matters” Memorial Scholarship honoring the work of 12-year Crisis Hotline executive director Sher Foster, who passed away after her retirement from the position in 2018.
- The Steve and Renee Claman Memorial Scholarship, a multi-year grant honoring a first-in-a-family college-bound student, went to Grace Bloomfield.
Much community support
Many valley organizations, groups, individuals and businesses gave scholarships.
- Bud Purdy Farm and Ranch Scholarships sponsored by Hailey Rotary: Carson Simpson (Carey) and Jennyfer Zavala.
- Surfing Heritage Foundation Scholarships: Rubi Chanco Barbaran, Julissa Ochoa Palomera,
- Paulina Montenegro Mata and Tieryn Topp (Silver Creek High School).
- Johnny G’s Subshack/John and Gretchen Gorham: Blake Nelson and DJ Gralenski.
- Maker Prize: Zoe Simon.
- Elevate Recruiting Group: Christopher Davitt.
- Heather Minor Events: Trinity Hadam (The Sage School).
- Betty Murphy Democratic: Amy Aranda.
- Jean Todhunter Scholarship: Abigail Kirk.
- John Northrop Music Performance: Samantha White.
- Wood River Middle School PTA: Sofia Peller and Juliette Rollins.
- Stoecklein Foundation: Geneva Dupuis.
- Helen Jeffrey Environmental Climate Action: Sofia Peller and Trinity Hadam (The Sage School).
- Building Contractors of the Wood River Valley/Gregg Stowe: Porter Larna (Carey) and Benito Martinez.
- Dave Wilson/Jim Woodyard Scholarship for Training in Construction: Porter Larna (Carey).
- Upper Big Wood River Grange: Jennyfer Zavala.
- Bliss Architecture: Evan Blas.
- Apple’s Bar & Grill: Noelia Cruz (Carey).
- Dual Immersion scholarships went to Melissa Gonzalez-Maza and Ivan Varelo.
- Nosotros United scholarships were presented to Jennyfer Zavala, Melissa Gonzalez-Maza, Monica Hurtado and Amy Aranda.
- Emmanuel Episcopal Church “Great-Hearted” Scholarships (5th year) from Idaho’s oldest
- Episcopal Church: Zayra Martinez, Cecilia Velasco and Johnny Servin.
- Girl Friday: Josie Saleen and Felicity Black (Carey).
- Sonja Tarney Scholarship: Emma Pulleiro.
- Marketron Broadcast Solutions: Garrett Doub.
- Redfish Technology Youth Entrepreneur: Amy Aranda.
- Bellevue Elementary Parent Teacher Association Scholarship: Isai Mendoza.
- Wood River Medical Society: Sophie Leighton, Lauren Roberts and Sharom Yallico.
- Nicholas Martin Family Foundation: Marika Versis (Carey) and Monica Hurtado.
- Nicholas Family Culinary: Danielle Nelson.
- Kraatz Family Scholarships: Amy Aranda and Elisabeth Loera (Carey).