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Santa Barbara Foundation Honors 19 Students for Academic Achievement

Kathryn Villanueva of Santa Barbara High receives an additional award for earning the highest rating

The Santa Barbara Foundation awarded scholarships to 19 students on Thursday for their exceptional academic achievement.

The Fleischmann/Spaulding Award is given to students who have shown a strong record of academic achievement, outstanding leadership and community service.

Recipients received $2,000 toward their college education and an additional $500 for the nonprofit of their choice. The Fleishmann Award was named after Max Fleischmann, who founded the nonprofit foundation in 1928.

“You will be overwhelmed by their achievements academically as well as their achievements outside of the classroom,” Santa Barbara Foundation President Ron Gallo said.

There are 5,000 graduating high school seniors in Santa Barbara County, and 131 students applied for the scholarship. Of those, 48 students were selected for an interview, and the final 19 were chosen from that pool.

The candidate with the highest rating receives an additional $1,000 and the Edward Spaulding Award, named in honor of Edward Spaulding, the first executive director of the foundation. Kathryn Villanueva of Santa Barbara High School was named this year’s recipient.

“I am looking forward to what the next chapter of my education and service to my community will bring,” she said. “My work with Direct Relief has shaped my ambition in life, to embody change through action.”

Villanueva co-founded the Youth for Direct Relief Club, through which she and fellow peers travel abroad to deliver medical supplies and perform treatments.

Recipients of the Fleishman Award were Patricia Boerger of Ernest Righetti High School, Katherine Brown of Pioneer Valley High School, Jose Gill of Santa Barbara High School, Kaitlin Hall of Santa Barbara High School, Arianna Janoff of Dos Pueblos High School, Nathan Jorden of Ernest Righetti High School, Alice Jun of Ernest Righetti Hgih School, Rose Koper of San Marcos High School, Megha Manjunath of Dos Pueblos High School, Corrina Palmer of Bishop Garcia Diego High School, Amy Ransohoff of San Marcos High School, Abby Reutzel of Laguna Blanca School, Nikoll Rodriguez of Bishop Garcia Diego High School, Grayson Shor of Dos Pueblos High School, Rachel Venurino of San Marcos High School and Elizabeth Willett of San Marcos High School.

Boerger and Jun earned an extra $500 for their academic and service achievements.

Hall founded the Little Star Pony Foundation, a pet therapy organization that connects terminally ill and disabled children with a miniature horse named Little Star.

“To watch the effect that this tiny horse can have on a 3-year-old girl’s life is the most fulfilling experience I have had,” she said.

Januff shared her experiences volunteering for Unity Shoppe, where she helped hand out food.

“I gave a woman 10 loaves of bread and she broke down in tears,” she said. “I was so happy to be able to give back like that.”

The nonprofits the students chose to receive the award were the American Cancer Society, Congregation B’nai B’rith, Direct Relief International, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation, Element Christian Church, Hillside House, Just Communities, the Little Star Pony Foundation, Prelado de los Tesoros, the Santa Barbara Family YMCA, the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, the Santa Barbara Soccer Club, Threshold Ministries Inc. and UCP Work Inc.

The Santa Barbara Foundation has granted more than $2 million annually to the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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