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Carlmont High School Graduate Earns Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship

Elizabeth Carranza aspires to be a chemist

Elizabeth Carranza, a 2009 graduate of Carlmont High School and a current Cañada College student, has been awarded the Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The scholarship is worth $5,000 annually and can be renewed up to four years. It supports students enrolled in community college, including adults who are pursuing a college education later in life, are seeking new job skills and training, or are juggling work and family responsibilities.

Up to 15 scholarships are given annually to female students from San Mateo or San Mateo County pursuing their first undergraduate degree or certificate and attending a college in the San Mateo County Community College District.

Carranza will continue to study at Cañada this fall and plans to transfer to UC Berkeley to study chemical engineering.

“I want to become a chemist,” she said. “My goal is to reduce the water pollution in other countries and create awareness on this issue.”

Carranza said receiving the Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship would not have been possible without the support of her professors at Cañada.

“All of my professors have been wonderful,” she said. “My English teacher, Salumeh Eslamieh, and my trigonometry teacher, Michael Hoffman, provided me with resources not only as teachers, but as role models.”

Carranza said the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Center also played a big role in helping her obtain the scholarship. “Without the STEM Center, I would have never known about any scholarship opportunities or programs that were available.”

The Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship program was established in 2007 through a generous gift to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation from Marie A. Calderilla, who believed deeply in the importance of education. The purpose of the scholarship is to enable women to pursue courses of study that they would otherwise be unable to follow due to limited financial means. Recipients are eligible for up to three years of funding; however, students must meet renewal requirements to continue to receive the award. Students enrolled in a four-year degree program at a San Mateo County Community College District college are eligible for up to four years of funding.

Students may be graduating high school seniors or current residents of San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties. The selection committee looks for academic promise, women who have demonstrated that they are committed to obtaining an education, and personal characteristics such as honesty, good judgment and perseverance.


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