Santa Cruz Area Chapter Scholarships

About the Award

The Santa Cruz Area Chapter annually awards $20,000 in scholarships to high school and community college students from Santa Cruz County who elect to attend SJSU. These students demonstrate a solid commitment to education and the community. 

Previous Recipients

2015 - 2016

2014 - 2015

2013 - 2014

2016-17 Recipients 

Veronica Alonzo

Veronica is an independent student who has worked at Home Depot for many years and the first in her family to attend college. Veronica’s mother had a stroke at age 37, and Veronica has helped support the family since she was 16. Eight years since graduating high school, Veronica is now an honors student, transferring to complete her goal of earning a BA and eventually an MA in Communication Studies. Her goal is to join a non-profit working with youth and the homeless. Eventually, she would like to work in Silicon Valley.

Janissa Banuelos

A freshman from Pajaro Valley High School, Janissa will be majoring in Psychology. Janissa matured early, as she was the eldest of three children and has been the role model and “parent” for her siblings while helping her grandfather run the household. She has worked full-time while graduating in the top 10 percent of her class. Janissa participated in track and field, student council, and debate. Her decision to pursue Psychology came from her experience at Camp Opportunity, a week-long camp for children who are within Santa Cruz County Child Protective Services.

Essy Barroso-Ramirez

Carol Coe Memorial Scholarship
A transfer student from Cabrillo College, Essy is a Health Sciences major. Her career choice stems from her experience as a sexual assault survivor who found safety and comfort in the hands of an extremely competent nurse examiner. She has determined that she wants to be able to provide such service to others, and eventually teach others to be as effective, caring and competent as the woman who helped her. She hopes to eventually earn an MS in Health Policy and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

Sierra Hernandez

Sierra arrived at SJSU this Fall from Watsonville High School where she participated in the school Video Academy, and in Digital Nest outside of her studies. She has chosen Radio-Television-Film as her major because she has come to understand how films can have an important impact on “hundreds of thousands of minds.” Sierra wants to “make films that... are powerful enough to change someone’s outlook on life.”

Kendra Kannegaard

A Theatre Arts major from Cabrillo College, Kendra also plans to seek a Single Subject Credential to teach drama in high school. While in high school, Kendra lost the use of her legs following surgery to remove a tumor on her spine. Largely due to her focus on theater, and with the support of friends and family, she has learned that “despite being in a chair, [she is] capable of accomplishing anything [she puts her mind to]”. Since 2012, she has worked as the Director of the after school drama productions at her alma mater, Scotts Valley High School.

Bo Zheng (Ben) Zhu

An Industrial Technology/Manufacturing Systems major from San Lorenzo Valley High School, Ben came to the United States from China following his sister. Fleeing a very dangerous situation, Ben was placed in foster care, along with his sister. In high school, while still learning English, he completed AP U.S History, played football all four years, volunteered through his church in many community activities and graduated with a 3.7 GPA.