The $5,000 annual scholarship can be renewed up to four years
Adriana Fernandez, a 2011 graduate of San Mateo High School, has been awarded the Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The scholarship is worth $5,000 annually and can be renewed up to four years. It is designed to support students who are enrolled or plan to enroll in a community college, including adults who are pursuing a college education later in life, are seeking new jobs skills and training or are juggling work and family responsibilities. Up to 15 scholarships are given annually to female students from San Mateo or San Mateo County who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree or certificate and are planning to attend a college in the San Mateo County Community College District.
Fernandez will continue to study at Cañada next year and then plans to transfer to UC Davis where she will study environmental science. One of her favorite classes at Cañada this past year was an independent studies class where she worked with Professor Bob Tricca to conduct undergraduate research analyzing nitrate levels in the soil of Brussels sprouts on San Mateo County farms. “It was really cool and interesting to see the levels of nitrates in the soil and realize that our research was helping local farmers,” she said.
Tricca said Fernandez and other students engaged in the research project learned valuable skills that will help them when they transfer to four-year schools. “We are fortunate at Cañada because our labs are stocked with equipment used to conduct research in both universities and private industry,” he said. “This provides a tremendous opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience with tools they’ll use as they continue their education and enter the workforce.” Fernandez said she also enjoyed studying engineering graphics with Professor Amelito Enriquez. “Although I always had a difficult time visualizing 3-D objects and I was always one of the last students to leave his class, he stayed to help make sure I comprehended the lab,” she said. “He is just amazing and has always been there to help me in any way possible ever since I first set foot at the Summer Engineering Institute in 2011.”
Enriquez said it’s been a pleasure watching Fernandez grow as a student. “Since I first met her at the Summer Engineering Institute two years ago, it has been a pleasure watching Adriana grow into a strong leader who has not only promoted a more vibrant student life but also contributed significantly to awareness of issues affecting our campus and the surrounding communities,” Enriquez said. “In fact, in my almost 20 years of teaching, I have only seen a few students who got so involved in campus activities from their first day at Cañada.”
The Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship program was established in 2007 through a generous gift to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation from Marie A. Calderilla, who believed deeply in the importance of education. The purpose of the scholarship is to enable women to pursue courses of study that they would otherwise be unable to follow due to limited financial means. The selection committee looks for academic promise, women who have demonstrated that they are committed to obtaining an education, and personal characteristics such as honesty, good judgment and perseverance. Recipients are eligible for up to three years of funding; however, students must meet renewal requirements to continue to receive the award. Students enrolled in a four-year degree program at a San Mateo County Community College District college are eligible for up to four years of funding.