Scholarship season at Kings County high schools is in full swing, and counselors are urging students to take advantage of all the opportunites available.
"Right now is when most deadlines begin," said Cindi Homburg, career education coordinator at Hanford High School. "January, February, March and April are when it's the most busy for students filling out scholarship applications. Full-ride scholarships usually have earlier deadlines in the fall, but for everything else it's on for right now.
"I urge students to just apply, apply and apply like crazy," Homburg said. "Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is so worth it. I love helping students during this process. It's my passion, because I know where they and their families come from. A college education is very expensive and if my kid didn't get scholarships, there would have been no way we could have afforded college, because I was a single mom."
Homburg said that Hanford High recently bought some new software for the career center's computers, making it easier for students to scan and complete scholarship applications.
"Before, unless the apps were online, almost all of them had to be filled out by hand," Homburg said. "And unfortunately, most of the handwritten ones don't look as professional and can be hard to read. So, now they can be scanned in and the students type in their information, which looks so much better."
In any case, students need to act quickly as many of the scholarships available to Kings County students have early March deadlines.
The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or bsantiago@HanfordSentinel.com.
Scholarships for Kings County students
There are several scholarships available that are limited to students from Kings County or are open only to applicants from the county and other Valley areas. Here are some of the local scholarships:
Brock Jarrett Toledo Memorial Scholarship
Applications are available at the Kings County Cooperative Extension office, at all Kings County high school agricultural departments and through the California Holstein Association. Applications may also be obtained by writing Mr. and Mrs. Ron Toledo, 242 Star Drive, Hanford, CA 93230.
Applicants must be graduating seniors from Kings County, or graduating seniors and members in good standing of the California Jr. Holstein Association planning to attend a college or university with a major in agriculture. Applicants must also be a member or former member of 4-H for a minimum of four years and enrolled in dairy or livestock projects.
The application deadline is March 31.
The Cooperative Extension office is located at 680 Campus Drive in Hanford. For more information, call 582-3211.
Cabrillo Clubs of California
The Cabrillo Clubs of California are offering $500 scholarships to outstanding high school senior students.
To qualify, a student must be of Portuguese descent, have a GPA of 3.5 or better all four years of high school and be involved in extracurricular activities.
Scholarship applications are available by clicking the scholarship link at www.cabrillocivicclubs.org. Applications must be postmarked by March 15 and submitted with transcripts and three letters of recommendation to: Alda Lawrence, State Scholarship Chairman, 12823 Kent Ave., Hanford, CA 93230.
The scholarship committee will screen applications and recipients will be notified after the club's state board meeting in April. Scholarship funds are payable to students upon acceptance into a college.
For more information, call Pat Scialo at 686-8166.
Fresno-Kings County Cattlewomen's Association
The Fresno-Kings County Cattlewomen's (FKCCW) Association is offering a $500-$1,000 scholarship to high school seniors, college freshman and college sophomores in the field of agriculture.
Applications and information are available at the 4-H office, 1720 S. Maple Ave., Fresno, or online at www.fresnokingscattlewomen.com.
Applications should be sent to Brooke Prewitt, the FKCCW scholarship chairman, at email@example.com by April 1.
For more information, contact the 4-H office at 600-7285.
Kings County Citizens for a Healthy Environment
The Kings County Citizens for a Healthy Environment (KCCHE) is offering a $1,000 scholarship to high school seniors planning a career in environmental sciences or any other agriculture-related field.
Students must have earned at least a 3.0 GPA and be planning to attend a two-year or four-year college or university. Consideration will be given to community service as well as high school activities. A transcript of grades must be submitted with the application.
Applications are available at all Kings County high school career centers. The deadline is March 1.
For more information, call Jackie Giacomazzi at 584-7433.
Kings County Council of Mexican-American Women
The Kings County Council of Mexican-American Women is awarding six $700 scholarships to high school seniors in Kings County.
Applicants are required to have a 3.0 GPA and to be of Hispanic descent. The deadline to file is April 2.
For more information, contact Corina Wilkins at 583-8667.
Kings County Dairywomen
The Kings County Dairywomen are offering $500 scholarships to students residing in Kings County.
Applicants must be high school seniors with at least a 3.0 GPA, a background in agriculture and involvement in community activities who are planning a career in dairy science or any other agriculture-related field and plan to attend a two-year or four-year college or university.
One scholarship is being offered to students with at least a 2.5 grade point average who are planning to attend a trade school with a concentration in the field of agriculture.
Applications may be obtained from Kings County high school career centers. A transcript of high school grades must accompany the application. The deadline is March 1.
For more information, call Jackie Giacomazzi at 584-7433.
Nuestro Tiempo Magazine
Nuestro Tiempo Magazine is requesting scholarship submissions from high school seniors in Tulare or Kings County who have been accepted and enrolled into a recognized accredited four-year college or university.
To apply for the $1,000 scholarship, students must submit three copies of a cover page, resume and 500-word essay. The essay should describe the need for financial assistance and how the student will apply their college education to benefit a community or communities of Tulare or King counties.
The scholarship will be awarded to the student who best demonstrates a desire to return to the area and enter a career path that will make a difference.
The application deadline is March 2 and the scholarship will be presented June 1. Entries should be mailed to Nuestro Tiempo, P.O. Box 3610, Visalia, CA 93278.
For more information, contact Raymond Macareno at 972-7097 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nuestrotiempo.net.
Ruiz 4 Kids
Ruiz 4 Kids is now accepting applications for scholarships for high school seniors in the areas where Ruiz Foods has a presence.
Recipients will be required to show proof of college enrollment and successful participation. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $2,500. The deadline for submitting all applications is March 9.
Separate from Ruiz 4 Kids' traditional high school senior scholarship program is the Louis F. Ruiz Memorial Scholarship. College students majoring in food science are encouraged to apply.
Applicants are encouraged to go online to www.ruiz4kids.org for more information or to complete their application.
Sons of Italy
The Hanford Sons of Italy Lodge #1543 is offering $500 scholarships to students who have been members of the organization for at least four years and have participated in its fundraising projects during that time.
Students must have earned at least a 3.0 GPA and plan to attend a two-year or four-year college or university. A transcript of grades must accompany applications as well as a one-page, double-spaced, typewritten essay entitled "What My Italian Heritage Means to Me." Applications are available at Kings County high school career centers.
Besides the Hanford Lodge scholarships, the Order Sons of Italy in America Grand Lodge of California is also offering scholarships to high school students of Italian descent. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and submit three recommendations. Applications may be obtained from the high school career centers and mailed to the Grand Lodge by March 1 to: Grand Lodge of California, 5041 Mission St., San Francisco, CA, 94112.
For more information, call Jackie Giacomazzi at 584-7433 or visit the Grand Lodge of California website (www.sonsofitalyca.org).
Tanner Joseph Houk Memorial Scholarship
Tanner Joseph Houk was only 16 when he lost his life in a car accident in August 2007.
His family honors his memory by providing a scholarship to a student who has managed to turn their life around despite a rocky past.
Instead of looking for that "A" student with perfect attendance, the family would like to help someone who most people consider "at risk."
Applications are available at Hanford High School's Career Center. A personal statement, an essay detailing the struggles you have gone through, how you rose above them and if there was someone who helped influence you to get it together, are required.
The Houk family will provide one $1,000 scholarship to any graduating senior from Kings County. The application deadline is May 1.
For more information, call Cindi Homburg at 583-5902, ext. 4011 or email Cindy Houk at email@example.com.