Jasmin Rivas-Pacheco already graduated. At 17, she earned her diploma in March from Everett’s Sequoia High School. And what a school year it was.
In the midst of a pandemic, while juggling online classes, she worked 40 hours a week at a Taco Bell in Lynnwood, and helped take care of siblings and grandparents.
An online presentation Monday night brought good news for her future. Rivas-Pacheco was one of 55 college-bound students whose achievements were recognized and rewarded during the Rotary Club of Everett’s annual scholarship event.
Scholarships totaling $239,100 were announced during the Zoom presentation.
“This is probably my favorite evening of the year as a Rotarian. The focus of this club is the youth of our community,” said John Olson, the club’s president and emcee of the program.
Funded by club members and donors, awards ranged from $500 to $22,500. Ten $500 awards will go to students in the Everett district’s AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) program to shop at Fred Meyer for college needs.
There were additions to long-established Rotary scholarships this year. Compass Health funded two new scholarships for studies in mental health. And two new Goldfinch Brothers Inc. scholarships are for students interested in building trades and construction management.
Larry O’Donnell, an Everett School District retiree, local historian and former Everett Rotary president, is funding another new scholarship. That $5,000 award went to Cascade High School’s Marquiz Silvestre, who plans to study engineering at the University of Washington.
Rivas-Pacheco received one of two Compass Health awards for $3,000. With a goal of becoming a child psychologist, she plans to start that education at Sierra College, a community college in Rocklin, California.
“Growing up it was very hard. I want to be able to help other kids,” said Rivas-Pacheco. She’s thankful for the boost from Compass, and for her godmother in California, who has offered her housing.
Formed in 1916, the Rotary Club of Everett has awarded nearly $5 million in scholarships. Before COVID, recipients were celebrated at the Everett district’s headquarters. School counselors help Rotary members identify possible winners. Nominees are interviewed by Rotarians, who make the selections.
Angel Lopez-Garcia, an Everett High senior, received a $2,000 AVID interview scholarship.
“It was an amazing night,” Lopez-Garcia said by email after Monday’s event. “I want to thank Everett Rotary for always supporting our community and making sure that we are able to achieve our dreams and goals.”
His goals include attending Seattle Pacific University and pursuing a career in finance.
Dayna Weir, college and career specialist at Everett High, describes Lopez-Garcia as a young man who “works hard, gets help and support when he needs it, and looks for opportunities.”
She credits him with revitalizing an Everett High club once called Latin Image. It’s now Latinos Unidos. With Lopez-Garcia at the helm, the club’s toy drive helped match more than 140 families with donors as the pandemic created extra hardships this past winter.
COVID-19 brought challenges unknown to previous generations of students. “To be honest, it was one of the toughest years for me, since I am more of a hands-on learner, and also because of the classes I ended up taking,” Lopez-Garcia said. Still, he likes math and didn’t let the pandemic year derail his education.
During the online program, Olson, the Rotary president, and presenters Anna Marie Laurence, Randy Hansen, Ed Petersen and Steve Miller highlighted donors whose generosity makes the scholarships possible.
Businesses and friends of Rotary are known as “Partners in Excellence,” a program started in 1999 that’s separate from the club’s endowed scholarships. A number of scholarships are funded by endowments left by or in memory of individuals.
The Brett Akio Jensen Memorial Scholarship was established by the family of a standout Cascade graduate and student leader. Brett Jensen died in 2002. This year’s recipient, Cascade senior Payton Crews, will use the $10,000 at Grand Canyon University, where she plans to study criminal justice.
The largest scholarships announced were four $22,500 awards — each to be given as $5,625 per year for four years — from an endowment left by Anthony G. Bozich. A frugal man who never graduated from high school, Bozich worked as a server at a country club and learned to invest in the stock market.
He made millions before his death, at age 94, in 2004, and left a large portion of his holdings as an endowment to fund STEM scholarships given annually by the Everett Rotary. Everett High’s Hanna Bekele and Savannah Bishop, and Aumnia Alissa and Katina Nguyen of Cascade, are this year’s $22,500 recipients.
Laurence, daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson and Helen Jackson, spoke of her mother as she announced the winner of the Helen Jackson Memorial Scholarship. Everett High’s Nicholas Sanchez will receive $6,000 for his studies at Seattle Pacific University.
Helen Jackson, Laurence said, was an honorary Rotary member. The senator’s widow died in 2018 at age 84.
Laurence said her mother believed “what we do can make a difference.” And her advice to students was to “strive for excellence in all that you do.”
Rotary Club of Everett scholarship winners
$22,500, Anthony G. Bozich Scholarship: Hanna Bekele, Savannah Bishop, Everett; Aumnia Alissa, Katina Nguyen, Cascade
$10,000 Brett Akio Jensen Scholarship: Payton Crews, Cascade
$10,000 Loren Baker Scholarship: Cody Murrweiss, Cascade
$8,000 Steven and Jo Saunders Foundation Scholarship: Kayla Flores, Everett; Esther Martinez, Nye Hilal, Jea Heo, Cascade
$6,000 Helen Jackson Memorial Scholarship: Nicholas Sanchez, Everett
$5,000 Hermes-Kimball Scholarship: Max White, Cascade; Mercedes Delgado, Sequoia
$5,000 Larry O’Donnell Scholarship: Marquiz Silvestre, Cascade
$5,000 Ted Wenta (AVID) Scholarship: Dollane Ishimwe, Cascade; Amina Hussein, Everett
$4,000 Pat Miller Memorial Scholarship: Gio Dominguez-Maldonado, Cascade
$4,000 EverTrust Foundation Scholarship: Aashna Singh, Cascade
$3,000 Goldfinch Brothers Scholarship: Charlotte Ogorsolka, Everett; Jessica Clark, Sequoia
$3,000 Compass Health Scholarship: Giselle Maya-Buenrostro, Everett; Jasmin Rivas-Pacheco, Sequoia
$2,500 Everett Clinic Scholarship: Olga Griffith, Everett Community College
$2,500 Hol Mabley/Kay Lyons Scholarship: Isabel Koivu, Everett
$2,500 Bill Dobler Memorial Scholarship: Michah Chang, Everett
$2,400 Evelyn Hoffman Memorial Scholarship: Victoria Chavez-Gomez, Everett
$2,000 Dwayne Lane’s Auto Family: Rangheen Salihi, Rebecca Collins, Cascade
$2,000 Rubatino Refuse Removal: Avery Harber, Everett
$2000 Botesh, Nash & Hall: Eduardo Heredia-Romero, Everett
$2,000 Providence General Foundation: Jonas Abraham Morden, Everett
$1,700 Adelaide Dykstra Scholarship: Fatoumata Darboe, Everett
$1,600 Fred Sjoholm Scholarship: Caleb Bonilla, Cascade
$1,500 Bernie Webber Memorial Scholarship: Jonghun Lee, Kamiak
$1,400 Don Loken Memorial Scholarship: Micah Hogan, Everett
$2,500 AVID Interview Scholarship: Lizbeth Salazar, Cascade; Rehema Hassani, Everett
$2,000 AVID Interview Scholarship: Madie Hanson, Cascade; Angel Lopez-Garcia, Everett
$1,000 AVID Counselor Scholarship: Chelsea Guillen, Andrea Alcaraz-Guido, Everett; Lucia Mahlum, Janhangir Muhammadi, Cascade; Eden Rodriguez, Alanny Mack, Sequoia.
$500 AVID shopping spree: Amari Taylor, Devon Dody, Lillian Ramirez, Dee Melrose Mostrales, Everett; Fernanda Bolanos, Dani Miller, Briana Bermudez, Isabella De La Cruz, Cascade; Amira Jones, Max Olsen, Sequoia.
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