Let us tell you about
Our Donors & their Scholarships
Andrea Nicole (Nikki) Ferguson
The YCRWC-Nikki Ferguson Scholarship was established in 2007 to honor the memory of Andrea Nicole Ferguson. Nikki was 17 years old when she passed away from undiagnosed heart disease. She lived most of her life in Yuma attending Ronald Reagan Fundamental School, Crane Junior High, Yuma High School, and Arizona Western College. Through this scholarship, the hard work and determination of Nikki can live forever.
Austin Vaughan Memorial Scholarship
Austin Fred Vaughan….there were so many qualities about this young man and the way he decided his future. Austin started in his junior year at Antelope Union High School researching careers and calling the schools he was interested in attending. When he narrowed down his choice, nothing held him back. Austin spoke to the instructor at Chandler-Gilbert Electrical Utility Technology (EUT) Program and was given the outline of what he needed to do to get a spot in the course. Austin did not waste time, he met with Josie Uriarte, Center Assistant of the Wellton Learning Center, and with her help he completed the requirements needed. Because of his determination, Austin landed a spot at the Chandler-Gilbert EUT Program for August of 2013.
At the same time Austin was completing the courses for the EUT Program, he had become interested in the Volunteer Fire Department in Tacna, Arizona. There was an instant love and desire born in him to help his community, he took this very seriously and did not miss his meetings or training sessions. On the night of Austin’s high school graduation in May of 2012, Joe Rivera, Chief of the Tacna Fire Department and Gary Shaw, Assistant Chief, presented him with his fireman badge. Austin was so proud and a part of him matured that night. He had worked hard and his reward now was taking care of his community and being able to stand with his “band of brothers”.
We miss him so much.
Robert, Marjorie, Shepard, Prestin and Aja Vaughan
Ben Nakasawa Memorial Scholarship
Established in 1999, the Ben Nakasawa Memorial Scholarship helps students who have a passion for farming realize their goals in a field that has a huge impact in our community and society. This transferrable scholarship is for students pursuing a degree in Agriculture, Animal Science, AgriBusiness or other related fields of study.
Established in honor of Yuma native, inspiration, and massage therapist Bridget Martinez, the Bridget's Gift Massage Therapy Scholarship is awarded to an AWC student who has been accepted in the AWC Licensed Massage Therapy Program. In honor of her determination, positive attitude, and humor, this scholarship seeks to encourage and promote wellness and resource awareness in our community.
Carol Backus Memorial Scholarship
The Carol Backus Memorial Scholarship is an endowment established by Ms. Backus in 1988 before her death. She was a long-time resident of Winterhaven, California. Through her generous donation, she hoped to assist students showing academic progress and effort toward success after their first year of college.
Charles C. Lackey Memorial Scholarship
Charles C. Lackey was a much beloved friend and colleague who passed away at the age of 28 in September 2011. Charlie was a very well-respected computer and events technician at Arizona Western College. Always kind-hearted, professional, and efficeint, Charlie was hard-working and dedicated to serving the faculty, staff, and students of AWC. His quick, dry whit and infection laugh is greatly missed. Education was important to Charlie so this fund was established in his memory for AWC employees who are pursuing their two or four year degrees.
Daughters of American Revolution Yuma Chapter
The Daughters of the American Revolution Yuma Chapter Scholarship was established in 1995, with a bequest in the will of Elsie N. White, a Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR) member. Since then it has grown and become an endowment due to additional donations from the Daughters of the American Revolution Yuma Chapter. This scholarship is awarded every year to assist students majoring in history or nursing.
Dee Jay Carr
The Dee Jay Carr Memorial Scholarship was started in 1995 by Mr. Denny Carr following the tragic death of his son, Daniel James (Dee Jay) Carr, in an automobile crash upon returning from a class at Arizona Western College. Mr. Carr raised funds each year for the scholarship by organizing thel Dee Jay Carr Memorial Motorcycle Love Run in Dee Jay's name. Through the generosity of family, friends, and the Yuma Community, the scholarship was endowed in 2007. Dee Jay was a good student, excellent athlete, and devoted son who loved Harley-Davidson motorcycles, muscle cars, dogs, and his friends and family.
Dr. Matthew L. Wong
Dr. Matthew L. Wong was a true blue Yuma Criminal, graduating from Yuma High School where he played on the football team. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California Berkeley then went on to earn his M.D. from the University of Southern California. After completing his internship, Dr. Wong practiced medicine in Canton, China. He returned to Yuma in 1953 with his wife Ellen to open a private medical practice serving families in Yuma for many years. This fund was established by various family and friends to continue his legacy of giving.
Frank & Pat Cooper
The YCRWC-Frank and Pat Cooper Scholarship was established in 2012. Frank and Pat Cooper, active volunteers in the Yuma community and dedicated supporters of the Yuma County Republican Party, were named Yuma County Citizens of the Year in 2008 honoring their involvement in civic causes and commitment to the community.They will always be known for their generous spirits and many, many hours of service which touched the lives of so many people in Yuma.
George H. & Leila M. Payne
The George H. & Leila M. Payne Scholarship was established in 1997 by their daughter, Madeleine Jameson. This endowment benefits students with physical challenges. George and Leila Payne moved to the 'Yuma Project' in 1913 and bought a farm on May and 8th street, where they raised alfalfa, cattle, and kept bees. They had a small store on Avenue B and 8th street called Payneís Corner. As a young man of 19 or 20 years, George fell from a grain elevator and, through complications, lost one leg. Ms. Jameson had fond memories of growing up in Yuma, and founded this endowment to help physically-challenged students in the memory of her father and mother.
Gertrud J. Moody
Arizona Western College was named as a beneficiary of the Gertrud J. Moody Scholarship which is an endowment held by the Arizona Community Foundation. In 1948, Gertrud moved from Cleveland to Phoenix hoping the warmer weather would help her rheumatoid arthritis. It didn't help, but she considered the move a success when she met her future husband, Robert. The young couple moved to Yuma in 1949 where they became pillars of the community. They were both active in many organizations but were especially interested in programs for young people. The care they had for Yuma and strong belief in education prompted the Moody's to leave a lasting legacy to benefit AWC students.
Hector German Uriarte
The Hector German Uriarte Memorial Scholarship was established by Josie Uriarte in loving memory of her son. Hector passed away at the age of nineteen. He was a loving son and special friend. This scholarship will benefit a student who has attended Antelope High School and is pursuing a career in the medical field or special education.
Jacob Louis Daily Memorial Scholarship
For several years the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association has been raising scholarship money for Arizona Western College students who demonstrate financial need. Bruce Gwynn, Executive Director of Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, identified four potential sponsors to become major sponsors of the 2016 Jacob Louis Memorial Golf Tournament to reach the endowment goal of $10,000.The agriculture community responded in a generous fashion and surpassed their goal. Major sponsors of the 2016 golf tournament were Crop Production Services, Fisher Chevrolet, The Catalyst Group and Wilbur-Ellis.
Jacque Dampier Memorial Scholarship for Culinary Students
Jacque retired from the US Army after serving his country for 27 years. After his retirement, he spent many years as a computer analyst. He eventually found that he loved to bake and went to school in San Diego, earning a certificate in Baking and Pastry. His bread making skills were amazing. When a position came available at Arizona Western College for a baking instructor, he jumped at it. Eventually he also taught basic culinary skills. His students respected him and considered him a friend. When he became too ill to teach, it devastated him. He loved what he did. He passed away on July 8, 2014 from cancer. He would be thrilled to know that scholarships in his name are being awarded to students interested in pursuing a career in something so close to his heart.
Arizona Western College was named as a beneficiary of the Janice Fife Scholarship which is an endowment established and held by the Arizona Community Foundation. Ms. Fife, a dedicated educator in Yuma County, desired to assist deserving students majoring in education. A portion of the proceeds from the endowment were designated to be given in scholarships to AWC to provide for the education of Arizona students for years to come by assisting them to become teachers and advocates for future generations.
Jesus Andrade was born in San Luis, Mexico and moved to Yuma with his family at the age of eleven. He attended Rancho Viejo Elementary School, Crane Jr. High, and Yuma High School. Thanks to scholarship donors, he was able to attend Arizona Western College and transfer to the University of Arizona where he completed a Bachelors Degree in Crop Production. He said, "I will always be grateful to all the people that helped me achieve my career goals. For this reason, I decided to establish a scholarship to help other students fulfill their goals and dreams."
The Larry Linville Memorial Scholarship was established in 2008 to provide athletic scholarships to Washington State baseball and softball student athletes attending Arizona Western College. The scholarship is an endowed scholarship in recognition of Larry's lifetime support of student athletes and made possible by contribution in Larry's memory after he passed away suddenly in 2008 at age 61.
Student athletes awarded the Larry Linville Memorial Scholarship are recognized not only for their expertise on the athletic field and financial need, but also as persons who possess the character and work ethic that Larry demonstrated every day of his life. It is a great honor to be recognized as a student athlete awarded the Larry Linville Memorial Scholarship at Arizona Western College.
Parker Stephen McCollum was a very bright young man who loved to learn. This was evident from a very young age when he would entrench himself in his books and amaze his family with the knowledge that he would retain. His passion for reading inspired his mother to read more just to keep up with him! Along with his passion of knowledge, he enjoyed trying adventurous things. He loved all extreme rides, tubing at the lake, riding quads, and most of all hanging out with his two brothers. Parker's family established this scholarship in his honor with the hope that it will inspire others to learn and assist them in making their career dreams come true.
Pearline Kawelo Pau'ole Madrona Memorial Scholarship
In honor of Pearline Kawelo Pau'ole Madrona, a respected elder in her family and community. Pearline believed in the strength and power of love to create a better world. Through demonstration as a wife, mother, and friend, Pearline is remembered for her sincerity, warmth, and steadfast protection and advocacy for children. This memorial scholarship is for studentes pursuing an Early Childhood Education and/or Family Studies degree or certificate.