Borrego Sun - Since 1949

BASIC Awards $64,550 in Scholarships to 47 Borregans


Last updated 6/14/2018 at 9:50am

By Joanne Ingwall

This summer, Basic Assistance to Students in the Community (aka BASIC) will award 22 Borrego Springs High School graduates and 25 continuing students scholarships to further their education. The scholarships will be used for students to attend vocational schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities and graduate schools. This program, now in its 29th year, has made 346 awards totaling over $411,000. This year’s total of $64, 550 is the most ever awarded.

Scholars who are graduating from Borrego Springs High School this June and receiving BASIC’s start-school scholarships – Mariana Arias, Kaeli Asche, Chanel Barron, Oscar Barron, Kevin Camacho, Nicole Del Bono, Franco Delgado, Jasmine Fernandez, Samantha Fernandez, Karen Garcia, Yuridia Leal, Greyson Levens, Justin Lopez, Lisette Magdaleno, Andrew Morris, Lucero Quintero, Aurora Ramirez, Edward Rivera, Roxana Rodriquez, Lisa Salcido, Elizabeth Torres and Samanta Vazquez.

Some of the schools these scholars plan to attend are the College of the Desert, Palomar Community College, CSU Fullerton, Humboldt State University and University of California, San Diego.

Scholars who are continuing their education and are receiving BASIC’s stay-in-school scholarships – Laura Alcaraz, Clara Arias, Martin Barron, Jamie Blakeley, Kaitlen Caruso, Adan Delgadillo, Michelle Delgadillo, Fernando Fuerte, Leslie Garcia, Leyssa Garcia, Nancy Hernandez, Nicholas Kenne, Victor Lopez, Edgar Martinez, Mayra Martinez, Noehmy Ochoa, Francisco Ramirez, Emilia Rangel, Bretnee Schmaderer, Natalie Spieckerman, Norman Strickland, Jack Taylor, Erik Tulving, Lorenzo Vilches and Shelby West.

Some of the schools these scholars are attending are Grossmont Community College, CSU San Marcos, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Montana State University.

This year, BASIC is proud and humbled to be awarding several scholarship awards in memory of loved ones, many who were long-time Borregans and all of whom were committed to the value of higher education.

The recipients of these special awards are:

The Williamson Memorial Scholarship, our oldest named scholarship, for scholars planning to attend a community college: Franco Delgado and Aurora Ramirez.

The Williamson Memorial Scholarship for someone making the transition from a community college to a four-year school: Fernando Fuerte.

The Dr. Edith A. Schmitt Memorial Scholarship for a student planning to pursue a career in the healthcare/ medical field: Karen Garcia.

The Dann Perry Memorial Award, “paving the road to success through vocational training”: Erik Tulving.

The Jim McFarland Memorial Automotive Technology Scholarship for someone pursuing a career in automotive technology: Lorenzo Vilches.

The McFarland Family Teacher Education Scholarships for those completing their teaching credentials: Kaitlen Caruso and Bretnee Schmaderer.

PEO Scholarship for a woman scholarship: Mariana Arias.

The Jerry R. Goldsmith Memorial Scholarships are for students pursuing careers in healthcare or science, or with specific need: Jamie Blakeley, Kevin Camacho, Michelle Delgadillo, Yuridia Leal, Victor Lopez and Natalie Spieckerman.

Our website, explains the background of all of our named scholarships, but here we present the story of the Jerry Goldsmith Memorial Scholarship. It is a heartfelt and generous contribution from his wife Sharon Goldsmith.

Jerry Goldsmith was the son of German Jewish immigrants who fled the Holocaust in Germany to come to the U.S. in 1938. They came with no English language skills and no money. Jerry’s mom worked cleaning houses and his father held a variety of jobs in order to survive. Jerry’s parents died within a month of each other when he was 17, leaving him and his brother nothing but debts.

Jerry went to live with an aunt and uncle in New York City. Even though the public colleges in New York City did not charge tuition at the time, Jerry despaired of being able to go to school because of the money required to buy books and pay other fees. A local philanthropic organization, alerted to Jerry’s situation by his uncle, gave him a small ($2,000) scholarship.

That gesture made all the difference for Jerry; it meant someone believed in him! On a practical level, it meant that he had funds to buy books and pay for subway fares to commute every day to school. He still worked every day while he was in school (as a busboy and waiter, then a line cook) to pay school expenses and help out his aunt and uncle with household expenses. Jerry graduated from City College of New York with a degree in chemistry in 1964. He immediately went into the Peace Corps in the second group to be assigned to Ghana, where he taught chemistry at a teachers’ training college. Jerry entered the business world after returning from the Peace Corp and retired as Vice President of Marketing for a leading international professional organization representing medical laboratory directors and researchers in the medical diagnostics industry.

Jerry and Sharon came to Borrego almost every year for 25 years before his death. Jerry was an avid birdwatcher and conservationist. He loved the area and some of the happiest times of his life were spent here. He cared about the young people of Borrego he met over the years. He admired their courage and dreams. And he well understood the challenges of being a child of immigrants who came to the U.S. with very little. Jerry and Sharon were long-time supporters of the BASIC scholarship program and they both read and commented on every single application that the BASIC scholarship committee received when Sharon was a member. Jerry always said that the scholarship he was awarded as he was trying to figure out how he could possibly go to school changed the course of his life!

Sharon has stated that, “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to provide these scholarships in Jerry’s name and I know he would be so happy about this program. He would think it’s a terrific way to acknowledge his wonderful life and to help others as he was helped many years ago.”

ATTENTION all rising seniors in our high school: You too could be the recipient of one of these awards to help you go to school. The scholarship applications for both start-school and stay-in school scholarships will be on the website by the end of December and will be due late February 2019. Also, visit our website to find out how you may qualify for one of the many named scholarships.

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