The Foundation distributed an incredible $21,500 in Senior Scholarships in 2022. This was made possible with the support of Granville Homes, and individual donors in the community. Please take a moment to learn more about our recipients.
DAMIAN VALLE GARCIA
Damian holds a 4.27 GPA and plans to major in biochemistry at UC Berkeley. After applying to eleven colleges and universities, he has been accepted by seven, and is awaiting a response from the remaining four. UC Davis is one of the seven locations where he has been accepted. Damian was awarded the Foundation’s $5,000 student scholarship.
He has played varsity soccer at Sanger High School for three years, participated in the Red Cross Club for two years, and joined the Interact Club for one year. For two years, he has been volunteering directly with the local nonprofit organization, Rest in Peace Matt C, and he spent two years volunteering at Our Lady of Sorrows. During his academic career, he has received multiple awards and honors, including Scholar Athlete, AP Scholar with Honor, the Sanger High Academic “S” Block Award for two years, and he has become a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation.
Born and raised in Sanger, Damian plans on returning to his hometown after graduating with his degree in biochemistry. It is in Sanger where he dreams of practicing cardiology with the hope of offering high quality healthcare to the community he loves.
When thinking of his exciting vision for the future, Damian adds, “I wish to not only live my whole life in this beautiful hidden town but most importantly; I wish to give back to the community that made me the person I am today.”
Brianna’s GPA is an impressive 4.46 which places her in the top 1% of her senior class. She plans to major in biomedical engineering at either Cal Poly or UC Irvine. Out of six colleges and universities where she applied, three have already accepted her application, including Cal Poly. Brianna was awarded the Foundation’s $5,000 student scholarship.
The list of extra and co-curricular activities in which Brianna has participated in includes volleyball for six years, robotics for four years, volunteering at the farmers market for three years, and participating in the Femineer Program for three years. She received academic awards for the Sanger High School Design Challenge in 2019 in which she was the winner, the Sanger High Academic Block “S” Award for four years, and the Scholar Athlete Award for two years.
As part of her studies, she designed and fabricated a zero-gravity prototype which she presented to NASA engineers in March of this year. Brianna is excited to graduate as a valedictorian.
In reflecting on how her past has inspired her, she shares, “There have been many wonderful experiences in my lifetime that I have seen the cause and effect of stepping up to a task and taking charge of the priorities of life. My mother and her struggles showed me at a young age that if a task is at hand and no one wants to do it, you must place your doubts and fears to the side and be the person to stand up and make it happen.”
Ryann has a GPA of 4.039 and plans to major in the nursing field. Although she was accepted at the Pre-Health Program at California State University, Fresno, she has also been accepted into the Future Nurses Program at Fresno City College. Along with 19 other pre-nursing students, she will begin the program at Fresno City College in fall of 2022. Ryann was awarded the Foundation’s $3,500 student scholarship.
During her high school career, she has participated in many activities through the Sanger FFA, including acting as a chapter member, chapter officer, livestock member, and floral club member. Beyond her involvement with the FFA, she joined the junior varsity water polo, varsity cheer, and varsity lacrosse teams. Her extensive list of honors and awards includes the Sanger High Academic Block “S” Award for four years, the Scholar Athlete Award for four years, a lifetime membership to the California Scholarship Federation, and various FFA degrees, including the State Degree in 2021 and the Chapter Degree in 2020.
Community service plays a large part in Ryann’s life. After recently completing a week-long youth cheer clinic where she served as a leader, she found passion and joy in becoming a mentor for a young girl.
While explaining her duties as a cheer leader, Ryann states, “I enjoy experiences like these because it is rewarding to serve as a positive role model to other girls, and know I was able to inspire a girl to be proud of herself.”
Emily is the first in her class with a GPA of 4.3. Her planned major is biology with a minor in English and/or psychology. She has already been accepted by California State University, Fresno and UC Merced and is currently awaiting responses from nine other universities. She hopes to attend either UCLA or UC Berkeley if accepted. Emily was awarded the Foundation’s $2,500 student scholarship.
Her academic high school career has included involvement in Sanger High’s Asian Club for four years, the Apache Closet for two years, and HOPE Sanger for one year. These activities saw her become deeply invested in food drives, shoe drives, and additional community events. She has received the Sanger High Academic Block “S” Award all four years in a row.
It is with great love and fondness that Emily spends her time within the community. She aims to spread compassion and gratitude to others and hopes they will do the same.
By striving to impact the world around her, she adds, “I’ve come to recognize how the smiles of others embodies the true essence of humanity. By helping in various events, I’ve been able to appreciate the sheer opaqueness of how kindness is easily translated throughout any human being, no matter their background.”
Shania’s GPA is 4.377 and she plans to major in either marine biology or zoology with a goal of becoming a marine mammologist. She has applied to nine colleges and universities and plans on attending the University of Oregon or CSU Monterey Bay where she will pursue her marine focus. Shania was awarded the Foundation’s $2,500 student scholarship.
She has been a member of many clubs, including Sanger High School’s KNOW MORE Club, Anime Club, Feminist Club, and the GSA Club. For thirteen years, she has served as a Girl Scout, and she is currently a Girl Scout Ambassador. Despite being in high school, she is also dual enrolled in courses at Reedley College. Emily has won the Sanger High Academic Block “S” Award four times and has also been honored with the AP Scholar Award.
By participating in the Girl Scouts for thirteen years, Emily has volunteered her time with prominent organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Valley Animal Center, and the Ronald McDonald House. Helping support food and supply drives for families in need of assistance became a common activity as she worked hard to help make a positive impact for those in her community.
In serving individuals and families who needed help, Shania reflects, “I’ve increased my understanding of important needs in the community, witnessed how systemic and sustainable change occurs in neighborhoods, and developed a greater understanding of how different communities of people can truly make a different in the world.”
Nolen holds a GPA of 4.45 and ranks in the top 1% of his class. He intends on majoring in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. He has been accepted by California State University, Fresno and will begin his studies in fall of 2022. Nolen was awarded the Foundation’s $1,500 student scholarship.
He has enjoyed playing tennis for four years and has received multiple honors, including valedictorian, three Sanger High Academic Block “S” Awards, two Academic Champion Awards, three Scholar Athlete Awards, and he was a recipient of the CMAC First-Team All-League. He is a California Scholarship Federation lifetime member and was a Fellowship of Christian Athletes member for two years. Rounding out Nolen’s list of accomplishments, he holds dual enrollment in college courses and participated in the program High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware.
Volunteering holds a critical place in Nolen’s heart, and he has spent his time helping the communities of both Sanger and Reedley. In Sanger, he works with the Interact Club, where he has assisted the local Rotary Club. In Reedley, he helped collect food to serve to individuals and families in need of meals during Thanksgiving. Additionally, he worked alongside a teacher where he helped teach faith formation classes to young students.
When considering how volunteering has helped him prepare for his next steps, Nolen adds, “I found myself ecstatic about the growth in the children I worked with. My involvement with religious services in Reedley has helped me to become the best version of myself as well as more social and eager to volunteer in any setting.”
Makayla has a GPA of 4.0 and intends on majoring in biology to help her become an optometrist. Currently, she has applied at five colleges and universities, and has been accepted at two while the three other options remain under review. She will be attending California State University, Fresno where she will study for four years before transferring to UC Berkeley to join their optometry program. Makayla was awarded the Foundation’s $1,500 student scholarship.
In high school, she has actively been involved in marching band, color guard, Health Youth Corps, and the California Scholarship Federation where she is now a lifetime member. Makayla’s list of accomplishments includes the Sanger High Academic Block “S” Award, the Woodwind Award, the Academic Scholar Award, and Perfect Attendance.
Her extracurricular activities have focused on helping her music teacher instruct children in elementary schools. Her involvement in the Health Youth Corps, where she acts as the club’s leader, consists of working with youth so they understand the importance of health.
With a strong desire to contribute to the medical field and help others live a healthier life, she says, “As I have grown older, I have been exposed to countless people who have significantly poor vision. Improving people’s quality of life through the recovery of their sight will make everyday tasks that were once challenging easier, even if the difference is a pair of glasses.”