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September 15, 2003

Recipients of $20,000 leadership scholarships named

By Jennifer McNulty

This year’s recipients of the annual Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Awards $20,000 scholarships include two single mothers, a Pakistani immigrant, and an aspiring computer engineer.

A $5,000 scholarship has helped an aspiring teacher enroll at UCSC this fall. See story

All recipients receive a $10,000 scholarship for each of two years, as well as the support of a strong academic mentoring program and assistance finding paid summer work experience in a field that complements their studies.

The scholarships were created to foster the transfer of accomplished students from community colleges in the UCSC region. The program was designed by former UCSC Chancellor Karl S. Pister to make the university accessible to the most promising community college students in the area.

“UC Santa Cruz is proud to welcome these students to our campus,” said UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood. “They bring focus, motivation, and a depth of life experience that enriches the campus community.”

The scholarship program recognizes students who have made a demonstrated commitment to assisting and improving the lives of others, who have overcome adverse socioeconomic circumstances, and who might not otherwise be able to attend UCSC for financial reasons. Candidates are nominated by the presidents of each of 13 regional community colleges, and recipients are selected by the chancellor in consultation with the Leadership Opportunity Awards Program Screening Committee.

This year's recipients, with hometowns and college affiliations, are:

• Muhammad Farhan Abbasi, Sunnyvale; Mission College
• Stacey Marie Bixby, San Jose; West Valley College
• Carlos Andres Cabrera, San Mateo; Cañada College
• Diana Carreno, San Jose; San Jose City College
• Angelica Magdalena Correa, Castroville; Monterey Peninsula College
• Michael David Phillip Eccleston, San Jose; Evergreen Valley College
• Berta Rosa Guillen, San Bruno; Skyline College
• Tremain Pele Jones, East Palo Alto; Foothill College
• James Gregory Herrera, Morgan Hill; Gavilan College
• Samantha Sadlowski, Campbell; De Anza College
• Lisa Michelle Woodhouse, Santa Cruz; Cabrillo College

Muhammad Farhan Abbasi, Sunnyvale; Mission College. With a 4.0 grade-point average, Abbasi was an accomplished student who augments his studies by tutoring English and volunteering in the community. Abbasi emigrated from his native Pakistan after finishing high school and has been an active member of the Muslim Student Association at Mission College and the Muslim Community Association.

Stacey Marie Bixby, San Jose; West Valley College. The single mother of two children and a recovering addict, Bixby dropped out of high school at 16 and attended night school sporadically before enrolling at West Valley College, where she has been a peer adviser for other single parents. She also participates in a mentor program designed to help keep at-risk high school students in school, and she is a volunteer soccer coach for her son’s team. Bixby plans to pursue a degree in legal studies.

Carlos Andres Cabrera, San Mateo; Cañada College. An aspiring computer engineer, Cabrera supports himself as a physics and math tutor at Cañada College. A native of Bogota, Colombia, Cabrera is vice president of the Engineering Club and was involved in the college’s Math-Engineering-Science Achievement (MESA) program, through which he attended the National Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Diana Carreno, San Jose; San Jose City College. A first-generation college student, Carreno is pursuing a double major in neurobiology and psychology on the path to a research career in neuroscience. Carreno has volunteered for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, Community Impact, and the Barrio Defense Committee, and she tutors Latino youth through the Bibliotea Latino Americana program.

Angelica Magdalena Correa, Castroville; Monterey Peninsula College. The youngest of six children, Correa has pursued her educational goals despite a lack of support from her family. Correa spent her junior year of high school as an exchange student in Sweden and hopes to pursue a career in linguistics or as an interpreter. She was active in the Descendents of Africa student organization at Monterey Peninsula College.

Michael David Phillip Eccleston, San Jose; Evergreen Valley College. Self-supporting since he left home at the age of 18, Eccleston has worked full-time to put himself through school. He has earned a 3.8 grade-point average while taking honors courses that span a broad range of subjects. In addition to his work and study responsibilities, he has tutored middle school students.

Berta Rosa Guillen, San Bruno; Skyline College. Guillen hopes to become a teacher, building on her own experiences as a student and mentor for youth. As a high school student in San Francisco, Guillen became involved with Youth Making a Change (YMAC), which lobbied for--and received--city funding to put health clinics inside some of the city’s biggest high schools. Guillen’s career goals crystallized after she joined Revitalizing Education and Learning (REAL) and helped high school and middle school students organize food and clothing drives for the homeless.

Tremain Pele Jones, East Palo Alto; Foothill College. Jones has overcome serious family troubles to succeed in college, where he made the dean’s list, competed on the men’s swim team, and joined Phi Theta Kappa. Jones, whose mother and three brothers are in prison, credits several high school and college instructors with helping him reach his potential. Jones works for the City of Los Altos recreation department’s teen center, The Underground, where he enjoys interacting with youth.

James Gregory Herrera, Morgan Hill; Gavilan College. A motivated student and a gifted athlete, Herrera played on the Gavilan College basketball team. Raised to give back to the community, Herrera participated in basketball camps for local youth and visited elementary and junior high school classrooms as a role model for youngsters. He has volunteered for three years at the El Toro Youth Center, where he organized basketball tournaments, and he is active in his church’s teen program.

Samantha Sadlowski, Campbell; De Anza College. Sadlowski left home at the age of 16 and has supported herself through full-time work ever since, but she hasn’t let that interfere with her educational goals. Sadlowski plans to major in psychology with an emphasis on child development in preparation for a career helping abused children. A specialized instructional assistant who works in public schools, Sadlowski also supervised a high-risk youth crew through the San Jose Conservation Corps/AmeriCorps summer program.

Lisa Michelle Woodhouse, Santa Cruz; Cabrillo College. A former welfare recipient, Woodhouse successfully juggles the responsibilities of work, school, and parenting. A teacher’s aide at Green Acres Elementary School, Woodhouse plans to earn her bachelor’s degree and continue on for a teaching credential. Clean and sober for more than 10 years, Woodhouse has sponsored many women in their efforts to overcome addiction.

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