Community Group Awards Scholarships to Four Local Students

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Speak Up Newport President Ed Selich with this year’s scholarship winners Gianna Finear, Kaveh Moaddeli, Maddie Vargas, and Emily Reynoso, at the July 10 SUN meeting.
— Photo courtesy SUN

A group of local students were awarded scholarships last week by a local community organization.

On July 10, at its monthly meeting, Speak Up Newport President Edward Selich formally announced the winners of four college scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each.

Earning the SUN scholarships were: Gianna Finear from Corona del Mar High School, who will be attending Brown University in Rhode Island; Kaveh Moaddeli, also from CdMHS, who will be attending Monmouth University in New Jersey; Maddie Vargas from Newport Harbor High School, who will be attending University of California, Berkeley; and Emily Reynoso, also from NHHS, who will be attending the University of Utah.

Finear will be pursuing a career in international business, SUN officials explained in a press release shared on Monday. She plans to represent the United States on the global stage, either as a United Nations representative or a foreign diplomat.

Moaddeli’s career plan is to be a reconstructive surgeon, possibly in an emergency room. He plans to work in our nation’s diverse communities in order to help underserved and under-represented groups.

Vargas enjoys helping young people in their struggles and wants to continue to do so after receiving her degree.

Reynoso will pursue a major in criminology. She would like to one day work as a criminologist in the justice system and give hope to those who have lost their hope.

“Speak Up Newport congratulates each of these outstanding students as well as all of the other applicants,” Selich wrote in the prepared statement. “All of the applicants this year were outstanding and selecting the winners was a difficult task.”

Speak Up Newport, a local organization that hosts monthly forums on civic issues, awards these scholarships on an annual basis in addition to sponsoring the annual Mayor’s Dinner, and monthly programs of community interest. Recent programs have included Homelessness, Police Department Cold Case Investigations, Sea Level Rise and the General Aviation Improvement Plan at John Wayne Airport.

Meetings are open to the public without reservations on the second Wednesday of the month in the Community Room at the Civic Center. The reception, hosted by the Bungalow Restaurant, starts at 5:15 p.m. with the program starting at 6 p.m. and usually ending at 7 p.m..

The scholarships are funded through revenue from the Mayor’s Dinner, private donations to the scholarship fund and an endowed scholarship fund. Donations to this program are accepted at any time and are tax deductible.

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