WATSONVILLE — Monterey Mushrooms presented 167 children of its employees with $226,500 in scholarship awards for the 2017-18 academic year.
Dependent children of full-time employees are eligible to apply for a scholarship up to $5,000 and for up to four years.
The Carl Victor Fields Scholarship Program began in 1992 to honor the company’s past vice president of marketing who was passionate about the importance of young people achieving their potential. Since its inception, 2,118 grants have been awarded for a total of more than $2.8 million.
Scholarships are awarded to those who pursue higher education degrees at accredited colleges, universities and vocation/technical schools. To apply, the student shares their educational background, academic goals and aspirations, school activities, work experience and personal achievements.
“Education is the key that opens doors to the future for children of our employees. We don’t just grow mushrooms, we grow people,” said Shah Kazemi, Monterey Mushrooms president and CEO.
This year, Saul Alcala, 20, received a scholarship to study computer science.
“This scholarship has helped my family tremendously,” Alcala said. “I can pay for my books, classes and other school expenses, such as traveling between California and Iowa. Without this help, it would be very difficult for me to continue to my studies at the University of Iowa. I am very thankful for this great support and your generosity.”
Another scholarship recipient, Patrick Fuller, 19, attends the University of California at Santa Cruz and is studying neuroscience.
“I just finished my first year and am starting my second,” he said. “I work two full-time jobs during the summer so I do not need to work during the school year. I am very thankful for the scholarship from Monterey Mushrooms.”
For information about the company, visit www.montereymushrooms.com.