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Mother of scholarship winner grateful to all those who contributed

On April 30, Madera High School held its Scholarship Awards Night, and what a wonderful occasion of positivity and encouragement it was to witness how the community rallies around to support the youth of Madera! This evening gave me a newfound appreciation for the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

More than 80 local scholarships were handed out that night. There were local businesses, families, individuals, organizations, and service clubs that awarded thousands of dollars to our kids pursuing college educations. No doubt these individuals and services clubs spend many hours during the year to raise the funds to award these scholarships.

I sat in the audience for the nearly three-hour award ceremony excitedly waiting for my son’s name to be called. My husband and I clapped and cheered when we heard his name; but we also cheered happily for all the deserving students that were honored with scholarships that evening. We also applauded the scholarship givers as they introduced their scholarship recipients and provided the history of their scholarships’ purposes. As I listened I could not help but think about the dedication and commitment that these community members have in supporting the success of our youth.

I am grateful for the scholarships that were given to my son, but also for the recognition and acknowledgment for his hard work and achievements in high school. Senior year is stressful with AP classes, activities, volunteer work, college applications, essays, scholarship applications, acceptance letters, choosing a college, senior activities, and in a flash here we are at the end of the school year. The local scholarship packet put together by scholarship coordinator Julia Magallon is intense. Of course, applying for scholarships is optional, but for those that choose to apply there are applications, activity forms, essays, and letters of recommendations to gather and prepare.

Once these application packets are collected and distributed to the scholarship givers, undoubtedly many hours are spent reading and reviewing the applications until their selections have been made. I wish I could name every community member, every teacher, every counselor, and every administrator that made scholarship night possible. If you had any role in this event, please know that the work you do is a great value to the students and families of Madera.

I am appreciative to all the teachers, coaches, counselors, friends and community members that took time from their busy lives to write thoughtful letters of recommendations for my son and the other students — not just for these scholarships, but also for their college admission applications. I am also grateful to all the local organizations that provided opportunities for my son and other students to volunteer at their organizations.

There are many teachers my son has had at Madera High School that positively influenced him — I know this because many evenings were spent with him sharing with me the discussions he had with his teachers during class, on break, or during lunch. These mentors helped me raise my son into the young man he has developed into. Again, it takes a village.

I especially want to thank the organizations and individuals that awarded scholarships to my son, Nicholas Varela, that night:

The Jonathan Michael Hinton Scholarship by the Hinton Family; the Madera Breakfast Lions, the Madera Association of Realtors, and the members of CSEA Madera Chapter #169.

Words are not enough to express how thankful I am. And, because I know my son so well, I can tell you the look on his face when you called out his name that evening was an indication that he felt grateful, proud and worthy. He worked so hard and your scholarship award was proof that his work did not go unnoticed. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

— Monica Favila,


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