The Crowd: '1221' College Scholarships awarded to Newport-Mesa students

June 13, 2012|By B.W. Cook
  • SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS: Eleven accomplished students from the Newport-Mesa school district accept grants from The Balboa Bay Club & Resort.
SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS: Eleven accomplished students… (Daily Pilot )

The future of America was celebrated at a recent reception honoring outstanding high school seniors from the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

The 2012 Balboa Bay Club & Resort's "1221" College Scholarships were awarded to an exceptional group of young people with big dreams and even bigger potential to succeed and make an enormous difference in people's lives.

For the past two decades, the Balboa Bay Club has awarded college grants to students recommended by their high school teachers, counselors and principals. A scholarship committee led by former Newport-Mesa Unified Supt. Norman Loats, John Wortmann, chairman of the club's Board of Governors, and Governors Catherine Thyen and Noel Hamilton, has the difficult task of interviewing the prospective scholarship candidates and selecting the winners.

"This process is among the most rewarding endeavors that I am involved with each and every year," Wortmann commented. "It is also extremely difficult to select winners when all of the candidates are so impressive."


With the finalists presenting résumés featuring community service, school leadership, athletic accomplishment, near perfect to perfect SAT scores, and grade-point averages as high as 4.65, the winners were selected, lauded and presented unrestricted grants totaling $100,000 in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

The "2012" winners of the $1,000 grants are Kerlly Castellano from Costa Mesa High School, Dylan Ulrich from Estancia High School, Leah Woodside from Estancia High, Mandy Nguyen from Costa Mesa High School and Sharon Shaoulian from Newport Harbor High School.

Receiving the $7,500 grants are Christina Brown from Estancia and Matthew Morgan from Costa Mesa High. The two students awarded the $20,000 scholarships are Ariana Naaseh from Corona del Mar High School and Andrew Mather from Newport Harbor.

In addition, the Balboa Bay Club was proud to present two additional $20,000 scholarships to student-athletes on behalf of the generous support of Ramona Smith and the extended Smith family. The grants are named in memory of their father, the late E. Morris Smith, a founding member of the Balboa Bay Club and former governor.

The two student-athletes are Allyson Brahs and Brent Lawson, both from CdM High. Lawson stepped up to the microphone in his navy blue blazer, rep tie and saddle shoes sharing with the audience that he will be attending Yale University in the fall and playing baseball for that Ivy League squad.

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