Honored By Don Diego

Encinitas residents Sophia Kazmierowicz and Samantha Brandenburg were among the 26 recipients of 2017 Don Diego Scholarships, aiding them in their pursuit of higher education. A total of $63,500 was divided among the winners, with individual scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Scholarships were open to students around the county who participated in the San Diego County Fair or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds, awarded in four categories: 4-H, FFA, Exhibitor/Participant, and Employee. Two Vocational/Technical scholarships and 10 Junior Livestock Auction scholarships were also awarded. Sophia received a $2,500 scholarship in the Exhibitor/Participant category and Samantha received a $1,500 scholarship in the 4-H category. The top recipient was Sarah Drown of Ramona, who received a $5,000 FFA award as well as the coveted $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship.

The selection committee received dozens of applications this year and after rigorous interviews with the finalists, the winners emerged. “Speaking on behalf of the entire Don Diego Board, we congratulate these incredible young women and men,” said Don Diego Scholarship Foundation Board Chair Jon Liss. “They have demonstrated a strong drive to excel. We are delighted to provide a supportive vehicle for their success and eagerly look forward to their future attainments in college and career.”

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, also known as Tom Hernandez, who served as the San Diego County Fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947 to 1984. Since its inception in 1986, the foundation has awarded approximately $862,000 in scholarships to 204 students and in agriculture education grants. For more information go to www.dondiegoscholarship.org.