A struggle with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis didn’t stop Cloey Peel from reaching for the stars.
The Granite Hills High School graduate earned a $2,000 scholarship last year from the Alpine Woman’s Club to attend Grand Canyon University, which gave her a partial scholarship. “Being the eldest of five I have never been able to focus on my wants and dreams first,” Peel wrote in her scholarship application. “I have always had to be the big sister or baby sitter.” Now she’s attending Grand Canyon University as she pursues her goal of becoming a neonatal nurse to help newborn babies.
It’s just one of the success stories the Alpine Woman’s Club, a member of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, has heard while awarding over $126,000 in scholarships.
There have been more than 200 winners since the club started its program in 1950, according to Suzie Curtis, AWC scholarship committee chair.
“Because we don’t have a high school in Alpine, it is not easy to find all of our graduating seniors,” said club President Linda Whitlock. “We want to make sure they have the opportunity to apply to a scholarship program that is specific to them. We’ve been thrilled with the caliber of our students.” Steele Canyon High School graduates Emily Hoffman and Dominic Garza also won $2,000 club scholarships in 2017.
All three recipients have impressive histories of community service and good grades. Their activities included designing shoes, veterinary clinic work and running a cancer fund raiser. Through the club’s Scholarship, Preservation and Education Foundation four more $2,000 scholarships will be awarded on June 19 to students who live in Alpine.
Applications for students planning to attend a 4-year or a 2-year college or a trade/vocational school must be received no later than May 31.
The applications are available at the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce in the Alpine Regional Center, 1620 Alpine Blvd., Ste. 208; the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd.; the Alpine Library, 1752 Alpine Blvd., and at www.alpinewomansclub.org.
The other 2017 winners are also pursuing their goals. Hoffman is majoring in animal science at California Polytechnic State University. Garza is studying applied mathematics at UCLA to work with “big data” or teach.
“I was so excited when I got the call that I had won the scholarship,” Garza said. “I was blown away. It was so much money, and there are books to pay for and everything.”
He credits his mom, retired teacher Penny Garza, with helping him navigate through requirements for his scholarships. “I definitely recommend getting the family involved,” said Garza. “I also went to a scholarship counselor to find out how to do it.”
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