Rio Rico High School seniors receive nearly $3 million in scholarships - AZEdNews
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Rio Rico High School seniors receive nearly $3 million in scholarships


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  • Loree Johnson   |   Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35

RRHS Students Receive Scholarships From Jando Meza Rio Rico Alumni Association. From Left To Right: Joseph Coil, Emmanuel Arvizu, Mia Richardson, Andrea Carrillo, Ruben Encinas, Dora Meza, Ruben Rojo, Demetrio Tolano Chavira. Photo Courtesy Of Melanie Estrada/ Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35

Rio Rico High School seniors were recognized for their achievements and awarded scholarships on Wednesday, May 4th. Students received an impressive $58,500 in local scholarships and close to $2.8 million in scholarships from colleges and universities.

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 is a growing, dynamic school district covering approximately 267 square miles. The district operates five schools. Approximately 3,500 students are enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year.

The ceremony began with recognition of the students whose GPA ranked in the top 5% of RRHS seniors. For this achievement, The Friends of the SCVUSD issued $500 to the following: Christopher Leyva (valedictorian), Ruben Rojo (salutatorian), Raven Burns, Alicia Cabrera, Andrea Carrillo, Paula Enriquez, Sara Flores, Leah Gallo, Angela Holman, Omar Lopez, Peyton Lunderville, Danitza Mendez, Jesus Mercado, Gabriela Rodriguez, Daira Santacruz, and Yesenia Tautimez. 

The two Rotary Clubs that sponsor RRHS both contributed generously to high achieving students. The Tubac Rotary awarded $1,500 to Carrillo, $1,000 each to Ruben Encinas and Samantha Thornbloom. 

Tubac Rotary awarded $2,000 to Karen Velasco, $1,500 to Nallely Maldonado,  and $1,000 each to Mendez and Rodriguez. The Rio Rico/Tubac Rotary Comeback Kid Award worth  $1,000 went to Joseph Coil.

Alexa Monique Gonzales Scholarships  issued two scholarships: one for $2,000 to Carillo and one for $1,000 to Jade Zasueta Felix. Rojo, Mendez, and Daira Santacruz each received scholarships for $2,500 from South32. Cabrera and Carillo earned scholarships from The Women at Quail Creek worth $1,500 each.

Asociation de Maquiladoras de Nogales awarded $1,000 each to Carrillo, Coil, Flores, Rojo, and Thornbloom. Carillo and Roberto Lizarraga received $1,000 gifts from Tubac Fire. Real Wishes Santa Cruz County REALTORS® issued $1,000 each to Daniel Astrain and Mendez.

Jando Meza Rio Rico Alumni Association awarded $1,500 to Yamileth Barcelo, $1,000 each to Encinas, Rojo, Coil, Carrillo, and Demetrio Tolano Chavira, and $750 each to Mia Richardson and Emmanuel Arvizu.

Fabian Campos and Gallo received gifts of $500 each from It Takes Big Heart.

Edgardo Martinez and Enriquez each received awards of $500 from Bazua Builders LLC. 

Sinclair Trust Scholarship awarded $1,000 each to Tolano Chavira and Reymundo Denogean. Isaac Garcia earned a $1,000 Santa Cruz Community Foundation Scholarship. Jesus Cordova Scholarship Foundation issued a $1,000 scholarship to Encinas.

Carrillo garnered $1,000 from the Nogales Women’s Club. The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz County awarded $1,000 to Tolano Chavira. Gallo received $10,000 from Mariposa Community Health Center.

Impressively, Lopez achieved the Dorrance Scholarship worth a total of $100,000. 

The following students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement: Alternative Pathways, Nilza Mendoza; Fine Arts, Chenille Eriksen; English, Cabrera; Science, Lopez; Social Studies, Carrillo; Math, Leyva; PE, Enriquez; Helpful Hawk, Esmeralda Bustamante; Foregn Language, Nicole Grijalva; CTE, Yesena Michel; Counseling, Denogean. 

The Principal’s Award went to Encinas, the Assistant Principal’s Awards went to Anthony Ruth and Nynette Perez, the S.O.A.R. Award went to Roberto Lizarraga Jr., and the Outstanding Student Athlete Award went to Gustavo Pacheco. Each received awards for $100 each from Artistry in Glass.

Many students received scholarships from colleges and universities themselves. 

The University of Arizona issued 45 scholarships.

Enriquez received the National Hispanic Scholar award worth a total of $72,000. Two students garnered the Arizona Excellence award: Flores received a total $80,000 and Francisco Santos received a total of $50,000. 

Wildcat Excellence scholarships were awarded to the following: a total of $32,000 each to Rodriguez, Dania Soto, Tautimez, Leilani Bacica-Pompa, Alexia Cano, Coil, and Gallo; a total of $20,000 each to Cabrera, Cyanna Daniel, Hector Delgado, Garcia, Ivonne Gonzales, Nilza Mendoza, Santacruz, Jose Valencia, Karen Velasco, Valeria Velazquez, Holman, Alexa Davila, and Alejandra Fuentes. Carillo garnered the Wildcat Distinction scholarship worth a total of $40,000, and Ana Ceballos received the Arizona Recognition scholarship worth a total of $30,000.

Wildcat Recognition scholarships were awarded to the following: a total of $12,000 each  to Natalie Alvarez, Rebeca Delarosa, Victoria Guzman Amavizca, Michel, Karla Morales,Sergio Urquidez, and Russia Toledo Velarde; a total of $8,000 to Gabriel Romero-Davis, Omar Vasquez, Tolano Chavira, Fabian Campos, Domenick Lopez-Ramirez, and Aislynn McIlrath; and a total of $3,000 to Angela Acosta, Denogean, Ikei Reece, Blanca Navarro, Nina Agosttini, and Jonathan Crespo. 

Northern Arizona University awarded 27 scholarships. Sara Flores, Garcia, and Ximena Martinez garnered President’s Excellence NR scholarships worth a total of $44,000 each. Alexia Cano, Cabrera, Coil, Gonzales, Mendoza, and Tautimez received the Lumberjack scholarship worth a total of $42,600 each. 

Peyton Lunderville, Santacruz, Rebecca Delarosa, Alejandra Fuentes, Gallo, Mendez, Urquidez, Valencia, and Velasco garnered the President’s scholarship worth a total of $32,000 each. Victoria Guzman Amavizca, Jobnicholas Villanueva, and Angela Holman received the Dean’s with Distinction Yr 1 scholarship worth a total of $26,000. Burns, Alvarez, McIlrath, Marco Mora, Nicole Salazar, and Omar Vasquez received the Dean’s scholarship for a total of $20,000.

Arizona State University awarded 16 scholarships. The following students achieved the National Recognition Finalist scholarships worth a total of $50,368 each: Enriquez, Rojo, Mercado, and Lopez.

Two students received the President’s scholarship worth a total of $40,000: Tautimez and Leyva. Six students garnered  the Provost scholarship. Flores, Santacruz, and Edgardo Martinez received a total of $28,000 and Valencia, Evelyn Lopez, and Guzman Amavizca received a total of $22,792. Sergio Urquidez, Romero-Davis, Alejandra Fuentes, and Angela Acosta garnered the Dean’s scholarship worth a total of $20,000. 

Grand Canyon University awarded eight scholarships: Enriquez achieved the Chancellor scholarship worth a total of $37,200; Evelyn Lopez and Delgado received the President scholarship worth a total of $29,200; Velsco and Aldo Higuera received the Dean’s scholarship worth a total of $21,200; Kiana Armenta received the Faculty scholarship worth $17,200; and Nicole Salazar and Dulce Jimenez received the Antelope scholarship worth a total of $11,200.

New Mexico State University awarded 13 scholarships. Coil, Flores, Avrille Giron, Holman, and Mendez received the Hadley Honors Out-of-State scholarships worth a total of $16,000.

The Crimson Success Out-of State scholarships worth a total of $12,000 each were awarded to Cabrera,Gallo, Morales, and Nicole Salazar. Daniel Yanez and Sergio Urquidez garnered the 1888 Leadership Out-of State scholarships worth a total of $8,000.

The military presented awards as well. The U.S. Marines presented the following awards: Gustavo Pacheco and Alexia Cano received Distinguished Athlete Awards, Isaac Garcia and Michel received Scholastic Excellence Awards, and Coil garnered the Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence.

The military also awarded G.I. Bill scholarships of $25,162.14:  Sebastian Thysell, Juan Gonzalez, Jorge Garcia, Domenick Lopez-Ramirez, and Claudia Armenta were recipients of the G.I. Bill from the Marines; Melissa Molera was a recipient from the Navy.

Law Enforcement recognized the achievement of four students who completed the Law Enforcement Internship: Encinas, Darlene Lara, and Pedro Navarro. 

Rio Rico High School  seniors receive nearly $3 million in scholarships Recipients-of-the-Jando-Meza-Rio-Rico-Alumni-Association-scholarships
RRHS students receive scholarships from Jando Meza Rio Rico Alumni Association. From left to right: Joseph Coil, Emmanuel Arvizu, Mia Richardson, Andrea Carrillo, Ruben Encinas, Dora Meza, Ruben Rojo, Demetrio Tolano Chavira. Photo courtesy of Melanie Estrada/ Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35