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October 1, 2023

Local Scene: Academic honors, achievements

Gavilan graduate awarded $20K scholarship

Gavilan College graduate Josephine Torres, who will be transferring to UC Santa Cruz in the fall, has been awarded that institution’s Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Scholarship for 2023. 

Torres is a biology major whose career goal is to help people by going into the medical field as a doctor.The Pister Scholarship was established in 1993 by former UCSC chancellor Karl S. Pister to increase opportunities for community college students who want to transfer to UCSC. The scholarship recognizes students who have overcome adverse socioeconomic circumstances, who have a demonstrated commitment to assisting and improving the lives of others, and who might not otherwise be able to attend UCSC for financial reasons.

Candidates are nominated by the presidents of each of the 13 regional community colleges.  The nominations are reviewed by the Leadership Opportunity Awards Review Committee, and one student from each college is selected to receive up to $20,000 in award money ($10,000 awarded for two years).

“It wasn’t always easy balancing full-time school and part-time work, but I would not be here without my counselor Diana Gonzalez,” Torres said. “She made me feel like I could go to her for everything. Also, the STEM Center and the instructors kept me motivated, even as my classes got harder. Gav is a beautiful campus, and I was very well supported for the two years I attended. I commuted here for every single in-person STEM class, so it felt like home.” 

“We are so proud of Josephine Torres, who is a first-generation college student that had to persevere in her academic pursuits with independence,” said Gavilan Superintendent/President Pedro Avila, who nominated Torres. “Josephine has continued to contribute financially by working part-time to help her single mother with bills while enrolled full-time at Gavilan College. Josephine’s supervisor at Nike, and her chemistry professor at Gavilan College, describe her as an individual with exceptional personal and professional qualities, which include her willingness to help others, as well as her strong communication skills and work ethic. Josephine has faced adversity and obstacles and handled them with strength and integrity, and for these reasons I chose her as the Pister Scholarship recipient.”

Locals set to graduate from Stanislaus State

California State University, Stanislaus, will celebrate its Class of 2023 during the University’s Commencement ceremonies in the University Amphitheater Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26.

Hollister residents Miranda Hernandez (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology), Owen Miller (Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies), Anessa Ocampo (Bachelor of Arts in Sociology) and Vivian Guadalupe (Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies) are scheduled to graduate in the upcoming ceremonies. 

Oriana Chorale plans spring concerts

The San Benito Oriana Chorale is preparing for their annual spring concerts, which are scheduled for 7:30pm June 2 and 3pm June 4 at Christ Fellowship Church, 2066 San Benito Street in Hollister. 

The theme for this year’s spring concerts is “Reflections on Water.” All songs that will be performed are about water—rivers, oceans or rain, according to Chorale member Laurie Venturini. 

The program was originally planned for spring 2020, but those concerts were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Chorale reconvened for public indoor rehearsals and performances in the winter of 2022. “At the time we were developing this program we were in a nasty drought and thought a water theme would be like a rain dance for the earth. Now we have more water than ever. Still apropos,” Venturini said.

Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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