Umansky, Farris gain $10K for college

Estancia water polo standout and Costa Mesa student government president selected among a group of 12 finalists.

March 02, 2011|By Steve Virgen,
(Daily Pilot File…)

Costa Mesa High's Daria Farris continues to live her life as an example of the American Dream. Estancia's Charlie Umansky is involved in so many activities that it seems like a dream.

Their stories and hard work at their high schools caught the attention of representatives of the Toshiba Classic Scholarship Fund, as the two have been awarded with a $10,000 scholarship each.

Farris and Umansky will be officially honored during the annual golf tournament's breakfast Tuesday at Balboa Bay Club & Resort.

The two seniors were selected among 12 finalists for the Toshiba Classic Scholarship Fund, which is a joint partnership between the tournament and Toshiba America Information Systems, Digital Products Division. The dozen each received a Toshiba laptop.

The Toshiba Classic tournament week begins Monday with events leading up to three-round play March 11-13. Some of golf's greatest will be in the tournament. Toshiba also wanted to honor those who are great in the classroom.


Farris and Umansky appear to fit the criteria, and then some.

Farris began her life in Russia and moved to the U.S. when she was 10. Within six months she was speaking English fluently, with the help of teachers and her strong determination.

At Costa Mesa High, Farris ran for student government president and won. She also grounded herself in charity work. She is actively involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the leader of her local Make-A-Wish club.

In her essay for her scholarship, she gave a glimpse of her determination, which should also help her as she pursues a degree in international economics.

"My experiences did not define me – they simply helped me define myself," she wrote.

Umansky has excelled in water polo at Estancia, where he is the Editor-In-Chief of The Talon, the school's newsletter.

He has also played basketball and competed in track and field and swimming. He helped the Eagles reach the CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs. He plays in the school's jazz band and also catches waves with the surf team.

In the fall, Umansky said he was on track to become the school's valedictorian. He had his grade-point average up to 4.67, as he was taking three Advanced Placement Classes.

While taking on that load he stood out for the Estancia boys' water polo team.

He scored 118 goals, which led the Newport-Mesa area. He was named to the Daily Pilot Dream Team after earning second-team All-CIF Southern Section Division III honors and first-team All-Orange Coast League laurels.

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