Students gear up for higher education with Rotary scholarships

The Paso Robles Rotary Club delivered 22 scholarships to graduating seniors to the tune of $53,000. The scholarships spanned vocational, community college, and four-year university applications for kids studying everything from welding, cooking and computer science.
Rotary Logo
Internationally, Rotary clubs promote “Service above self” in solving problems around the world for more than 110 years. Locally, the Paso Robles club gave new college students a leg up in their journey to become the next generation of problem solvers.
The largest category of giving went to the four-year university students, who each received $4,000 to help with their tuition and living costs as they pursue their degrees. That is $40,000 total to 10 students.
The four-year awardees were Emma Coleen Wiest (Pre-Med major), Marina Corinne Smeltzer (Mechanical Engineering), Sadie Mae Mace (Veterinarian), Britney Lynn Powell (Nursing), Daniela Lopez (Business/Economics), Luis Armendariz (Computer Science), Shelby Jo Farmer (Psychology), Maricela Serrano (Communications), Alberto Lara (Mechanical Engineering), and Annie Meeder (Environmental Science).
The Object of Rotary is “to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise,” and they gave out a $1,000 Service Above Self scholarship to Kaitlin Covarrubias (Animal Science).
The Rotary Youth Leadership Award scholarship went to Aaliyah Lews (Nursing) in the amount of $1,000.
One of the Rotary’s impacts is to “grow local economies,” and those students engaging in vocational studies or community college cannot be overlooked as some of the future backbone of local economies. Accordingly, four students were given scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each for assistance in their field of endeavor.
Skills USA student Daniel Oliver will attend Tulsa Welding School. Another Skills USA student, Joseph Moscato, will attend an electronic technician program. Michael Lebeck will begin his journey at Cuesta College in pursuit of a degree in either psychology or economics. Elizabeth Verzin will pursue her love of the culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America.
According to Rotary, its Club Service focuses on making clubs strong – “A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.”
The Paso Robles Rotary Legacy scholarship ties in this relationship-based plan through the giving to those whose family made contributions to Rotary over the years.
Six students received $500 each as they begin their journey into higher education. Jacob Bausch, Matthew Olsen, Jacob Cagliero, Thomas Baker, Michael Ross, and Katie DeGarimore were the selected beneficiaries for 2017.
The Paso Robles club continued a Rotary tradition of contributing to the success of “our future leaders and philanthropists by funding scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study.”
For more information on the Paso Robles Rotary Club, go to