Our Scholarships

Our donors have established eight academic scholarships and one wilderness adventure award for Santa Cruz County students.

Review eligibility criteria for all scholarships to determine which may be right for you. Only one application is needed to apply for any or all of the academic scholarships for which you are eligible.

Academic Scholarships

The following scholarships are available to Santa Cruz County students for undergraduate study at a college, university or vocational school.

Available: One $1,500 award renewable up to three additional years

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior or graduate from a high school in Santa Cruz County, or a Cabrillo College student
  • Latina
  • Reside in Live Oak or Watsonville areas at time of application
  • Financial need

Recipient Obligation:

  • Attend an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational school in the fall following graduation (full or part time; no minimum units)
Deadline: February 23, 2014

Ralph H. "Boots" Beel (1906–1984) was unable to finish high school due to financial hardships. After a successful business career, he took up flying and purchased an aviator's outfit. After one week his pair of expensive aviator boots was stolen and he got the nickname "Boots." After his death, his family established this memorial scholarship for students graduating from Santa Cruz High School.

Available: One $1,000 award renewable up to three additional years

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior from Santa Cruz High School
  • Financial need
  • Demonstrate academic achievement
  • History of service activities or volunteer work
  • U.S. Citizen

Recipient Obligation:

  • Attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the fall following graduation. Scholarship may also be awarded to a student planning to attend an accredited vocational school in California.
Deadline: February 23, 2014

The family of Ernest V. Cowell (1858–1911) prospered after coming West during the California Gold Rush. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park was named after his father and his own name was given to the Ernest V. Cowell Student Health Center at his alma mater, UC Berkeley. He started this fund in 1903, which the Foundation has administered since 1994.

Available: Two $2,000 one-time awards

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior from a high school in the Santa Cruz City School District
  • Financial need

Recipient Obligation:

  • Attend a University of California campus in the fall following graduation
  • Repayment is requested upon ability after college graduation

Deadline: February 23, 2014

Both Emmett and Elsie Geiser spent their careers in education and were committed to the students of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Emmett was a sports coach at Watsonville High School and the stadium is named after him. In her will, Elsie Geiser established this endowed scholarship at the Foundation.

Available: Three $1,000 awards renewable up to three additional years

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior from Aptos, Pajaro Valley or Watsonville High Schools
  • 3.0 GPA in college preparatory courses
  • Letter in at least one sport
  • Letter of recommendation for athletic and academic achievements from athletic director or coach
  • Financial need is considered, but is not a determining factor

Recipient Obligation:

  • Attend an accredited four-year college or university in the fall following graduation
  • Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA
Deadline: February 23, 2014

Louis J. and Mary Ellen Schultz were lifelong Santa Cruz residents. Mary taught in the Live Oak School District for 32 years. She retired in 1968 and died in 1990. Louis worked at the Opal Cliffs Market for 27 years. They had no children, but wanted to do something for the youth of Santa Cruz County and started this endowed scholarship fund at the Foundation.

Available: Two $2,000 awards renewable up to three additional years

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior or graduate from a high school in Santa Cruz County
  • Financial need

Recipient Obligation:

  • Enroll as a full-time student at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational school in the fall following graduation

Deadline: February 23, 2014

Available: One $2,000 award renewable up to three additional years

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior or graduate from a high school in Santa Cruz County or the Pajaro Valley, or a student at Cabrillo or Hartnell Community Colleges transferring to a four-year school in the fall
  • Current community college students must have resided in Santa Cruz County or the Pajaro Valley for at least two years prior to registering at Cabrillo or Hartnell
  • Plan to major in Agriculture at a four-year college or university. Veterinary Science students are not eligible.

Recipient Obligation:

  • Enroll in undergraduate study at an accredited four-year college or university
  • Remain enrolled in the field of Agriculture

Deadline: February 23, 2014

Barbara J. Thompson served as trustee on the Santa Cruz City Schools Board for many years and is a firm supporter of public education and making educational opportunities available to all students. This scholarship was created in honor of her retirement from the board in 2002.

Available: Four $2,500 one-time awards (one per school)

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior or graduate from Delta Charter, Harbor, Santa Cruz or Soquel High Schools
  • Resident of Santa Cruz County for three of the past four years
  • History of service activities or volunteer work
  • 3.0 GPA
  • U.S. Citizen
  • Priority will be given to students who were employed, assisted with family care, demonstrated community involvement, were involved with sports, or performed volunteer work while enrolled in high school.

Recipient Obligation:

  • Attend an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational school in the fall following graduation

Deadline: February 23, 2014

Beverly Turner established this fund in 2002 to honor the memory of her late husband, John L. Turner, who retired after a career as an electrical engineer. In retirement, John volunteered for 15 years as a teacher's aide in the English as a Second Language program at Watsonville Adult Education. He enjoyed practicing his Spanish and working with the students. Beverly established this fund to help Watsonville High School graduates who have a strong desire to pursue their higher education.

Available: One $1,000 one-time award

Eligibility:

  • Graduating senior from Watsonville High School
  • Financial need
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Citizen

Recipient Obligation:

  • Enroll at least part-time (minimum of six units) at a two- or four-year college, university or vocational school in the fall following graduation

Deadline: February 23, 2014

Wilderness Adventure

This scholarship is available to Santa Cruz County high school students to attend an outdoor wilderness program.

"We want the Matt's Climb Scholarship to be a turning point for some young person, someone who would ordinarily never be able to participate in a wilderness experience."
– Eliza Livingston, Matthew Kennedy's grandmother

Matthew Kennedy, a graduate of Santa Cruz High School, was killed in a snowmobile accident in 2001. His family established this scholarship so students could experience the kind of outdoor adventure he loved. 

It provides for a high school student to attend an outdoor wilderness program through Camp Unalayee in California's Trinity Alps.

Available: One award up to $2,000 toward tuition and transportation expenses

Eligibility:

  • Any freshman, sophomore or junior enrolled at a Santa Cruz County high school.

Details:

  • Camping equipment, hiking boots, clothing and other gear the responsibility of the scholarship awardee. There is a $100 stipend for these expenses.
  • Transportation between the camp's offices in Palo Alto and the Trinity Alps included in the cost of tuition.
  • Camp Unalayee staff will help determine which of its programs is appropriate for the awardee. We will discuss any additional costs with the awardee.

The Matt's Climb scholarship has a separate application process.

The application deadline was  April 3, 2014.

For questions email Robin Larsen or call her at 831.662.2061.