40 Coastal Fifth Graders Receive Life-Changing Scholarships

June 27, 2018
Adopt A Fifth-Grader program encourages graduation from high school and college attendance

The Mendocino College Foundation is pleased to announce 40 fifth-grade students received scholarships through the Foundation’s Adopt A Fifth-Grader program in its third year on the Mendocino Coast.

Thirty-six fifth-graders at Dana Gray Elementary received scholarships, including Abril Soria, Alannah Vargas, Angel Palomar Cervantes, Brylie Grover, Charlie Padgett, Chenoa Tlaxcanticla Martinez, Cooper Moon, Courtney Meadlin, Damian Lopez, Denise Mendoza, Eduardo Najera Estrella, Elisa Panameno, Emily Oxte Toscano, Emmanuel Arenas, Gabriel Valenzuela, Isaiah Hull, Jaden Miller, Kai Ringle, Keyla Castaneda Cervera, Malaya Brown, Maria Nunez, Mariana Escobedo, McKenna Morgan, Nathan Cox, Neelah Garrison, Orion Hikes, Preston Willis, Sadie Custer, Sebastian Soria, Serenity Paulson Orellana, Sergio Lopez-Calleja, Sierra Thompson, Tony Martinez, William Seaholm III, plus two additional students. At Mendocino K-8, Aiden Cruz-Alcantar, Joseph Day, and Phannarai (Angel) Inkun were selected. And at Three Rivers Charter School, Jaclynn Larsen was the recipient.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of donors who provide a gift of $700 per student which is invested over a seven-year period. Upon high school graduation and enrollment at Mendocino College, the student receives a $1,000 scholarship.

A significant portion of the Adopt a Fifth Grader sponsorships for Fort Bragg students were generously matched by Rotary Club of Fort Bragg. Rotary committed to maximize support of the program locally by matching every $500 donation with $200 of their funds to complete the $700 requirement to sponsor one fifth-grade student.

Local Adopt A Fifth-Grader sponsors this year included Alan Limbird DDS, Andrew & Linda Banta, Anna Kvinsland, “In honor of Carl Sanders” by Joan & Craig Woods, Carol Millsap State Farm, Community Foundation of Mendocino County Full Circle Family Fund, Dale Simpson, Dave & Anne Turner, Dr. Diane Harris & Doug Hammerstrom, Eileen Sorrels, Eric & Hilary Miller, Gabrielle Levine, Garden Ranch Real Estate, Gary Champlin & Eve Nighswonger, Ginny Rorby, Harvest Market, Jerry & Jackie Matson, Joan & Craig Woods, John & Betty Cottle, John Swartly & Debra Cohen, Kate Donohue & Notty Bumbo, Kathleen Holmes, Lea Christensen, Mary Love, Mendo Mill, Nancy Severy, Norma Watkins & Les Cizek, Peggy Martin, Rick McMillen DDS, Robert Adamczak, Robert Becker & Katy Pye, Rotary Club of Fort Bragg, Rotary Club of Mendocino, Ruth & Joe Sparks, Sean Leland State Farm Insurance, Steve & Cynthia Lund, Susan Larkin & James Ehlers, Susie Francis, and four anonymous donors.

The Adopt A Fifth-Grader recipients were carefully selected by the students’ principal and teachers. Upon selection, each student received $25, an identification card and a certificate detailing the award’s future benefits. Award ceremonies were held at Dana Gray Elementary on May 24th, at Mendocino K8 on June 8th, and at Three Rivers Charter School on June 15th.

Adopt a Fifth-Grader was established by the Mendocino College Foundation in 2007. Since inception, over 460 Mendocino and Lake County fifth-graders have been selected for the award. The generosity of the donors means that 460 students have a financial incentive and tangible reason to stay in school.

If interested in learning more about becoming a donor, email Development Director Anna Kvinsland at or call 961-2203.

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