Let us tell you about
Our Donors & their Scholarships
Margaret Buckelew Entrepreneurial Scholarship
The cold country of Maine was where Margaret lived the early part of her life. After marrying Emmett Buckelew, she settled in Yuma, although she enjoyed many summers at her camp cabin on the shore of Lake Skiticook in Maine. Margaret worked for Crane School District, was an ardent supporter of education, an avid reader, an accomplished artist, and a devotee of classical music. She practiced a life of charitable simplicity as a member of the Catholic Third Order of St. Francis after her husband died. Margaret established this scholarship to support a deserving student who expresses a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Martinez Group Scholarship
The Martinez Group Scholarship has been founded for YOU. We seek to empower everyone and anyone passionately pursuing their educational and career goals. We accept applications from anyone attending AWC. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to receive support, no matter your major, GPA, your age, gender. We are here to help you accomplish your goals and we look forward to reading your story!
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.
Richard M. Johnson
Dr. Richard Johnson, a stiff competitor, worked as a professor of English at AWC for many years. After battling years of illness and managing to return to the classroom each time, he lost his battle in 2005. Students and co-workers alike remember him for his no-nonsense approach in the classroom, challenging his students everyday to help them become better students. The Richard M. Johnson Memorial Scholarship was established through the donations of various friends and family members honoring Dr. Johnson's passion of assisting AWC students in furthering their education.
Robert J. Moody
The Robert J. Moody Memorial Scholarship is an endowment established to assist students majoring in agriculture at AWC. Bob Moody came to the Yuma area as the University of Arizona Agriculture Extension Agent in 1944. In the 1950's and 1960's, the Moody family farmed in the Yuma Valley. He was active in the Arizona Crop Improvement Association, the Arizona Pure Seed Association, Arizona Cattle Growers, Arizona Cotton Growers, and served on the University of Arizona Agriculture Extension Service Board. He was also intensely interested in the development of young people, serving as a 4-H Leader, helping to establish the Yuma County Junior Livestock Committee, and serving 25 years on the Yuma Union High School Board. Mr. Moody's family established this scholarship as a lasting tribute to his devotion to agriculture, education, and prosperity and growth of our community.
The S.E.E.4 Vets Military Legacy Endowed Scholarship was made possible in 2016, thanks to the generosity of S.E.E.4 Vets. Their mission is to accelerate the support of men and women who have served our nation in uniform as productive members of the civilian community, including the pursuit of academic or certification goals, and greater opportunity to succeed and advance in the workplace.
For more information: http://see4vets.org/
The Sunnyside Construction Scholarship was established by Steve Pino, owner of Sunnyside Construction, to honor his children's educational achievements. Sunnyside Construction is a proud supporter of higher education in Yuma County.
Sylvia Plotts Memorial Scholarship
Sylvia F. Plotts was born in 1897 in Iowa. She obtained her Master's Degree in 1946 and continued post-graduate work at both Arizona Universities. She taught high school for eight years and served as County School Superintendent from 1944 to 1951. Ms. Plotts taught at Alice Byrne and in Somerton schools in the 1940s. She passed away in July 1990. She named Arizona Western College Foundation as a beneficiary of her Arizona State Retirement fund. Through her generous donation, The Sylvia Plotts Memorial Scholarship was established in 1991 in order to help educate Native American students.
The Heriberto Amaya Solano Memorial Scholarship
I must’ve been 10 or 12 years old. I was sitting across from my grandfather under the porch of his home in El Golfo de Santa Clara, in Sonora, Mexico. He was rocking in his chair and he was barefoot. He always went barefoot, in those days. He must’ve been in his mid-60s then and he was smoking a stubby cigar, the sweet cigars he’d buy across the border, in Arizona. We weren’t speaking, we were just sitting and looking out to the street. It was a calm, spring day—days that in the shade, feel cool, and in the sun, feel warm. Now that my grandfather is no longer living, this is what I miss the most: the quiet times in which there’s an absolute calmness, because the person in the world you trust the most, is there, sitting, without prejudices.
His life was a dramatic life. I heard about his youth from others: he fished in the Sea of Cortez for the better part of forty years, he built with his bare hands a commercial fishing boat, El Río Suchiate, in the early 70s. He lost a fortune in the venture of El Río Suchiate, but that did not make him a bitter man. I do not know if I were in his place, I would have kept my outlook on life.
He knew more than anyone I have met, how to rest and sleep easy. He’d wake up every day at 5 a.m., like the working of a clock. I learned from him how to cook. Frijoles and ceviche and menudo and lengua. Pescado lampriado and bistec and carne con chile rojo or chile verde. I remember that on rare occasions, he’d use the disco to make machaca de mantarraya for the whole family. He built his own home and the homes of my tíos with his own hands. He was always teaching, in a way that did not make you feel ignorant, unable to continue. We built two porches together and I wish I could have built a third. Up until the early 70s, there was no schoolhouse for the children. So he, along with other community leaders, built a home for the educators. And they built a schoolhouse. This was only a temporary fix, because this school only served little children. So when my grandfather’s girls, my aunt and mother, were left without a way to continue their education, a collection was taken up. And my grandfather traveled to the U.S. to purchase a school bus that transported the children to a secundaria nearby. I remember when I was a boy, my grandfather was appointed delegado, a municipal administrator tasked to maintain the peace. I remember he carried out this work with strength. Even in his 70s, his hands held a stronger grip than my own. He would speak of carrying heavy anchors in his fishing work and show us grandchildren how to tie elegant knots, knots he used to tie and tow heavy fiberglass skiffs the people call pangas. And in his work as delegado, he never carried a weapon. I suppose he realized, if you want to maintain the peace, you have to go with peace, in everything you do. Perhaps, this is true strength.
So many people now say, it is so dangerous in Mexico. The cartels are running black markets and trading endangered fish in the Sea of Cortez. Sometimes I hear gunshots in the night and I do not know how to distinguish between those sounds and losing hope, because of all the poverty around us. Sometimes the gunshots are closer to us: two people I grew up with were shot in their chests. And it was my grandfather and grandmother who transported them, bleeding, to the nearest hospital, 60 miles away. Because of these acts, our two friends survived this violence.
In the early 90s, my grandfather moved to the United States, in order to better provide for the education of his youngest child. He found work at Chicanos por la Causa, and I remember the children called to him by his nickname, Chato, Don Chato. He worked as a handyman and as a custodian. When I think about it, my grandfather always worked in jobs that are of use. Fishing provided food, a home. And building and maintaining provided roofs over our heads. And I must’ve been 10 or 12 years old, when I was sitting across from my grandfather who was barefoot and the air smelled like wet and black earth from the cigar he was smoking. Yes, I think I was about that age, because, just then, I saw a man fall in the street. The man had fainted and I was scared and I did not know what to do. There was others in the street and passing cars. No one seemed to move to help—I was no different. But I saw my grandfather stand up, put out his cigar. He tapped me on my shoulder and pointed. He walked to the man and we helped him onto the pickup truck and to the clinic. At the clinic, the man regained his breath.
If I can validate the life of my abuelo with these words, it is to speak this wisdom: to live an honest life is to act for others, whenever you are called upon to act for others. All these actions of his, and so many others, make up the wisdom that is in all of us, in our pueblos. To use our biographies and privileges to contribute to the long lineage of learning. This scholarship honors my grandfather’s life and memory. My family and I hope this will help to encourage students to succeed, whenever they are called upon to.