In the June issue, the PRT highlighted scholarships and grants given to outstanding Patagonia Union High School students by the following organizations: The Elgin Community Club, The Anne C. Stradling Foundation, South 32, and Mountain Empire Rotary. This month we round out the awards with scholarships from four more organizations. 

Many students from last year’s PUHS graduating class are now registering for classes and loading themselves down with fall semester books at college and university bookstores. For some hard-working kids, at least, their financial burdens have been lightened by one or more scholarships or grants. Their proud community of Eastern Santa Cruz County has sent them off with financial help.

The Michael Martin Pay It Forward Scholarship

Michael Martin was one of the older kids in the informal youth group that preceded the formation of the Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center.

“There was a group of kids who hung out at our house after school,” Director Anna Coleman said, “and Michael was a real leader who became a role model to others. He would have been 26 or 27 this year, but he passed away tragically in an auto accident four years ago. The loss was huge for the Youth Center family, because Michael was so well loved. We created this scholarship as a legacy.”

The $1200 scholarships that Alex Santos and Lalo Aguilar, this year’s recipients, received will help them begin their studies, Alex in Youth Counseling at Pima College, and Lalo in Range Management at New Mexico State University. Both recipients are from Patagonia.

Los Charros Foundation

Los Charros Foundation was founded in 2015 as a way for the members of the Tucson-based Los Charros del Desierto to give back to the rural communities where they have enjoyed their annual horseback rides since 1950. According to Board member Amanda Zamudio, the Foundation strives to help youth who would not have the same chances as those in larger communities in achieving their goals. The scholarships are open to youth in Santa Cruz, Pima and Cochise counties, with a focus on leadership, education and agriculture. 

This year’s recipients are Alex Santos ($4,000), Julian Vasquez ($4,000), Hannah Young ($5,000), Carolina Quiroz ($4,000) and Brianna Young ($16,000). They were chosen for their hard work, dedication, and their outstanding applications. 

The Santa Cruz County Junior Livestock Committee (SCCJLC) 

Four PUHS seniors received grants from the SCC Jr. Livestock Committee. (From left) Supt. Kenny Hayes, Brianna Young, Carolina Quiroz, Amanda Zamudio, Dean Fish, Hannah Young, Julian Vasquez, and Asst. Principal Michael Young. 

The SCCJLC awards scholarships to youth who are active in 4-H and FFA and who participate in the Junior Livestock Auction at the Santa Cruz County Fair. The Committee is part of the Champions for Youth Foundation, which seeks to connect people to agriculture through community projects, special events and educational programs. 

Brianna Young, Carolina Quiroz, Hannah Young and Julian Vasquez, all of whom have been very active in 4-H and FFA during their school years, received $2,000 each. Besides being selected for their hard work and dedication, they were judged on their participation in the junior livestock auction at the Santa Cruz County Fair. 

Patagonia Regional Community Fund Arizona Community Foundation

Hannah Young and Alex Santos are the recipients of this year’s Patagonia Regional Community Fund scholarships. They each received $2,000 to use towards tuition, books, lab fees, and more.

Each year the Foundation looks for students who are passionate, ambitious, and who can truly benefit from the assistance. The PRCF scholarship program is part of a larger fund of over 200 scholarships given by the AZ Community Foundation, which all applicants become eligible for once they apply for the local fund. The students can apply to renew their scholarships in subsequent years, as well.