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Strawberry grower-shipper awards 14 scholarships

Bobalu Berry Farms is celebrating its third year awarding scholarships to graduating high school seniors. The Bobalu Berry Farms Scholarship program was established in 2022 to honor company founders on the 60th anniversary. Each year the program has expanded to include more students at high schools in both Oxnard and Santa Maria, California, and employees' children.

Scholarship winners Braeden Rappozo and Havanah Michel at St Joseph's.

This year, Bobalu Berry Farms converted the application process to an online format allowing students easier access to complete applications and submit qualifying documentation. The company also expanded the incentive for employee children to apply by increasing communication at the farm offices and adapting the online enrollment form to include employee documentation. With over 40 applications, the staff scholarship committee had a difficult time selecting award recipients.

The merit-based program focuses heavily on grades but also considers philanthropic activities by students supporting their community, and those seeking agriculturally based majors. "With each student deserving a scholarship, we have to focus on those that are uniquely positioned as ag majors and those that may not be getting other scholarships to help with financial support," says Bobalu's RC Jones. "We were very pleased this year to have multiple students pursuing a degree in ag, and to have a student that is a child of one of our long-time employees in Oxnard."

Denisse Salguero and Olivia Hernandez, scholarship winners from Santa Maria High School.

All of the students receiving funds from Bobalu are the first in their families to attend college and they expressed gratitude in their essays for the support they have received from family, teachers, and school counselors. Students are attending Cal Poly, Sanluis Obispo, UC Davis, Berkeley, and UCLA. Several award recipients will also attend community college before transferring to university.

"Members of our staff committee enjoy the opportunity to be part of this process each year and select recipients as a team. Even more, we are truly honored to attend each high school award ceremony and personally present awards to very deserving students on stage", says Maria de la Cruz, Bobalu HR director. "Selecting students on paper, based on qualifications, is one thing but meeting them and their families in person takes this program to a whole other level for us."

Primavera Rosales and Emma Urias at Ernest Righetti.

Bobby and RC Jones are honored to support the 14 students awarded scholarships this year that rely on outside financial support. They both expressed gratitude for the ability to continue this program honoring their grandparents who established Bobalu Berry Farms 62 years ago.

The 14 students who received awards last week are graduating from Adolfo Camarillo, Pacifica, Channel Islands, and Hueneme High School in Oxnard. In Santa Maria, students are graduating from Ernest Righetti, Pioneer, St. Joseph's, and Santa Maria High School.

For more information:
Cindy Jewell
Tel: +1 (831) 566-2202
[email protected]

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