By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
The La Habra-based Advance! Organization presented 20 students from La Habra and Sonora High Schools with individual scholarships last week.
This year’s list of recipients marks the largest amount of scholarships that the organization has presented.
“It really helps a lot,” said Maria Retama, whose daughter Brianna, a La Habra High School graduate who will attend Cal State University, Los Angeles.
Her father, Domingo, explained how Briana has been working toward scholarships to help pay for her college expenses since she was in middle school
“My parents work really hard, and I really appreciate this help because of the opportunity it creates for me,” said Brianna, who plans on studying fashion and textiles.
Many of the scholarships are from local families by former students who established funds to help students prepare for college. The criteria for each scholarship vary depending on who funded the scholarship. This year the Institute for Healthcare Advancement funded four scholarships for students planning on studying in the healthcare industry. Scholarships average about $1,000 per year per student.
“It helps because I work and this will allow me to be able to give more time to school,” said Diane Felix, a La Habra High graduate who plans on attending Fullerton College and majoring in criminal justice or child development.
Felix is also part of the La Habra Police Department’s explorer program and volunteers in the community. “It’s a lot of work,” she said. “But it is paying off.”
This year Advance! was able to present the Fred Lentz scholarship to students. Named for one of the organization’s founders.
“Thirty people came together and funded the scholarship,” he explained. “They told me about it on my seventieth birthday.”
Advance! Is a non-profit organization that helps assist La Habra area students prepare for college. The help can be tough tutoring, helping with entrance applications, choosing a college, orientations, etc. The organization is funded by grants and donations by local support.