Home News Education Nine Local Graduates Receive $1000 CalRTA Scholarships

Nine Local Graduates Receive $1000 CalRTA Scholarships

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Division 33 of the California Retired Teachers Association honored its 2024 Scholarship recipients at their recent luncheon on Tuesday, June 11, at the Seven Hills Members Club in Hemet.  Seven of the nine CalRTA $1000 scholarship winners, along with their family members, were present for the celebration.  This year’s recipients and future educators are as follows:  Emmale Americano, Hemet High School; Andrea Bonilla, Nuview Bridge Early College High School; Miriam Gonzalez, Alessandro High School; Eugene Hernandez, The Academy of Innovation; Hannah Jindra, Western Center Academy; Kamryn Jorgensen, West Valley High School; Abigail Meza, San Jacinto High School; Valeria Perez Carrera, San Jacinto High School; and Avery Ros, Tahquitz High School.

Emmale Americano, a recent graduate of Hemet High School, attributes her desire to be a teacher to HHS Ag teacher Cassidy Steenbock, who taught agricultural mechanics and animal science.  “I strive to be half the ag teacher Ms. Steenbock is.  I hope to be an influential ag teacher because they not only teach agricultural skills, but they also serve as mentors, guiding students in their personal growth and development,” Americano says.  She plans to attend Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, majoring in education with a minor in biology.  

Emmale Americano, Hemet High School

Nuview Bridge Early College High School graduate Andrea Bonilla says, “becoming a teacher has been a dream of mine for many years because of the impact teachers can have on their students and the importance of education.”  Bonilla feels that she was very fortunate to have had teachers who had a positive impact on her life and says that “without them I simply would not be where I am today.  These educators allowed me to realize my potential and gave me the confidence to reach my goals.”  Bonilla plans to attend UC Riverside, major in studio art and become an art teacher.   

Andrea Bonilla, Nuview Bridge Early College HS

Miriam Gonzalez’s goal is to become an elementary school teacher and work with “little kids that are just like me, coming to a whole different country and learning English as their second language.”  A recent graduate of Alessandro High School, Miriam says that she “really likes helping little kids with things they don’t understand.”  She will attend Mt. San Jacinto College in the fall then eventually transfer to a university and complete her teaching credential.

Miriam Gonzalez, Alessandro HS

Eugene Hernandez says, “my unwavering determination serves as a driving force in my pursuit of knowledge and personal development.”  A graduate of The Academy of Innovation in Hemet, Hernandez has a “deep-seated passion for education and a genuine desire to inspire and empower others.”  Hernandez plans to pursue a degree in English with a focus on literacy.  He will attend Mt. San Jacinto College in the fall and earn his associate’s degree, then transfer to a university and earn his bachelor’s degree and a secondary teaching credential.

Eugene Hernandez, Academy of Innovation

Western Center Academy graduate Hannah Jindra says, I want to be a high school English and theater teacher and have wanted to be such for as long as I can remember.”  She says that she has been influenced by both her parents and teachers to pursue a teaching career and that both have shown her how to be an encouraging leader.  She hopes that her years in leadership roles will help her to appreciate different perspectives and extend the same encouragement she received as a student to others in her own future classroom.  Jindra plans to attend Brigham Young University, Idaho in the fall.

Hannah Jindra, Western Center Academy

Kamryn Jorgensen, a recent graduate of West Valley High School, plans to attend Point Loma Nazarene University in the fall with a major in English literature.  Her goal is to become a middle or high school English teacher.  Jorgensen says, “My sophomore year of high school I had the privilege of being taught by an incredible English teacher.  Instead of the usual feedback I would get, he demanded more from me.  He saw me in a way that no teacher ever had before.  The end of that year, I decided that I wanted to be an English teacher.” 

Kamryn Jorgensen, West Valley High School

Abigail Meza says that throughout her educational career, “I sought out mentors who believed in my potential and never lost sight of my dreams.”  A graduate of San Jacinto High School, Meza has overcome many challenges and emotional times but through it all has learned “the power of resilience and the human spirit.”  She says that “every setback became an opportunity for growth” and says that the wants to “be there for the kids who are going through what I had to go through.”  Meza plans to attend Riverside City College in the fall, purse an English major, and eventually become a middle or high school English teacher.

Abigail Meza, San Jacinto HS

San Jacinto High School graduate Valeria Perez Carrera loves art. “My only passion, one that I consider dedicating my whole life to, is art.”  Perez Carrera plans to attend Mt. San Jacinto College in the fall and follow the art pathway to become an art teacher.  Eventually, she will transfer to a university to complete her bachelor’s degree and earn her secondary teaching credential. Perez Carrera says, “I want to make my parents proud.  Being the first child in my family to attend college, I am aware of their hopes and the sacrifices they have made.”

Valeria Perez Carrera, San Jacinto HS

Tahquitz High School tri-sport athlete Avery Ros says she always wanted to be a teacher but didn’t know what kind.  She says her years in ASB, however, “taught me that in the future I want to be an activities director.”  Combining her love of athletics with her goal of becoming a teacher, Ros will attend Cal State Fullerton and pursue a degree in kinesiology to become a high school P.E. teacher and ASB director.  “I will use my degree to help people and better the next generation.”

Avery Ros, Tahquitz HS

CalRTA Division 33 offers 11 $1000 scholarships each year to qualifying seniors in Hemet and San Jacinto school districts.  Students must have plans to become a K-12 public school teacher, have a 3.0+ GPA for their junior and senior years, have good citizenship at school and in the community, and be involved in extra-curricular activities at school and in the community.  For more information about the California Retired Teachers Association, go to calrta.org or div33.calrta.org.

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