Gilroy Foundation gives $500K in scholarships

The Gilroy Foundation announced its 2019 scholarship recipients, who will share more than half a million in funding for their college education.

From the start of the scholarship program in 1999 to date, Gilroy Foundation has awarded over $5 million in scholarships to deserving high school graduates and college students in the Gilroy area.

The 2019 scholarship recipients are:

Julio Mato Family Scholarship: $50,000 to Michelle Sanchez Del Real (GECA)

Don Christopher Scholarship: $20,000 to Najla Cabrera (CHS)

Uvas Creek Scholarship: $20,000 each to Alan Apte (GECA), Christopher Arellano Reyes (GHS), Gina Barbaglia (GHS), Maggie Brinkman (GHS), Gricelda Bucio (Mt. Madonna), Jadyn Castro (Mt. Madonna), Austin Ellemberg (CHS), Dylan Ellemberg (CHS), Audra Rubio (CHS), Priscilla Saldano (Mt. Madonna), Michelle Sanchez Del Real (GECA), Hannah Underwood (CHS), Katelyn Van Horn (GHS), Alejandro Velasco (CHS) and Illan Vargas (GHS)

Don Christopher Scholarship: $10,000 each to Alejandro Velasco (CHS) and Lucas Zepeda (CHS)

Bill Christopher Scholarship: $10,000 to Hsiu-Tsun Ku (CHS)

Ken Christopher Scholarship: $5,000 to Austin Ellemberg (CHS)

Don and Karen Christopher Scholarship: $5,000 each to Austin Ellemberg (CHS), and Grace Gundy (CHS)

Christopher Ranch Education Scholarship: $5,000 each to Dylan Ellemberg (CHS), and Katelyn Van Horn (GHS)

Dr. Joseph Kraut Jr. Memorial Medical Scholarship: $5,000 to Matthew Edwards (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA)

Don and Karen Christopher Scholarship: $3,000 each to Christopher Arellano Reyes (GHS), and Vincent Thai (GHS)

Don and Karen Christopher Scholarship: $3,000 each to Nicholas Hy (CHS), and Lucas Zepeda (CHS)

Christopher Ranch Employee Family Scholarship: $2,500 to Erendira Martinez Gamaz (GHS)

Don and Karen Christopher Community College Scholarship: $2,000 each to Keiry Covarrubias (GHS), Miriam Ramirez Garcia (CHS), Jacob Guerriera (CHS), Savannah Kelly (CHS), Andrew Plaza (GHS), Crystaly Ramos (CHS), Silvester Torres (GHS), and Hannah Underwood (CHS)

Steven Michael Stramback Memorial Scholarship: $2,000 each to Nathan Arnott (Ann Sobrato High School), Kaitlyn Calvin (Live Oak High School), Sarah Finch (CHS), Sarah Tidwell (Live Oak High School), Illan Vargas (GHS), and Rodolfo Vega (Live Oak High School)

David and Valerie Vanni Agriculture Education Scholarship: $1,500 to Nicolas Cital (CHS)

Kimberly Ordaz Memorial Scholarship: $1,250 to Andre Costa (CHS)

Sontag Family Scholarship: $1,000 to Priscilla Saldana (Mt. Madonna)

St. Louise Hospital Volunteer Scholarship: $1,000 to Daniel Baumer (Gavilan)

Valerie Roberts Memorial Scholarship: $1,000 to Sam Deliz (CHS)

Tom S. and Hedy Obata Memorial Scholarship: $1,000 to Audra Rubio (CHS)

Sean Michael Merriman Scholarship: $1,000 each to Gricelda Bucio (Mt. Madonna), Jadyn Castro (Mt. Madonna), Joanne Gomez (Mt. Madonna), Alyssa Mercado Guevara (Mt. Madonna), and Priscilla Saldana (Mt. Madonna)

Kai and Libby Lai Family Scholarship: $1,000 each to Andrew Dinh (Gavilan), Alejandro Sernas Martinez (Gavilan), and Dayton Wagner (Gavilan)

Gelman Family Education Scholarship: $1,000 each to Najla Cabrera (CHS), and Karen Bautista Valencia (GHS)

Gelman Family Education Scholarship: $500 each to Deisy Castillo (GHS), and Analei Meza (CHS)

SakaBozzo Scholarship: $600 each to Audra Rubio (CHS), and Katelyn Van Horn (GHS)

Robert Galaviz Memorial Scholarship: $500 to Gabriel Campuzano (CHS)

Erin Kinkel Memorial Scholarship: $500 to Andrew Plaza (GHS)

Kevin A. “Mike” Gilroy Memorial Scholarship: $500 to Alexandra Souza (Military)

Esther Costales Forman Scholarship: $250 to Krista Lober (Gavilan)

Garlic Festival Queen: $10,000 to Kylie Kuwada (Cal Poly)

Garlic Festival First Runner Up: $5,000 to Lilly Higgins

Garlic Festival Second Runner Up: $3,000 to Lauryn Longoria

Garlic Festival Princess: $1,500 each to Jenesa Andrade, Brianna Budelli, Rae Ceballos, Amaya Leyba-Guerra, Giselle Oliveira, Simran Sihra, and Katelyn Van Horn


Gilroy Foundation was founded in 1980 to help meet the needs of the community in the specific areas of Health, Education, Recreation, Technology, Culture and Civic Services. The concept is simple. The Foundation provides a way for individuals, families and corporations who share a common commitment to the future prosperity and well-being of the community to come together to build an endowment that will last in perpetuity. Gilroy Foundation currently has assets of over $12.5 million.

Gilroy Foundation awards annual grants to non-profit organizations that provide vital programs and services to meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation also awards scholarships to local students in high school, college, or vocational schools.  Since 1982, Gilroy Foundation has awarded over $14 million in grants and scholarships. Foundation grants have made a positive and powerful difference in every sphere of life in the community.

Gilroy Foundation also serves the Gilroy community by providing funding of Special Projects as well as assisting groups in establishing their own nonprofit status.

Gilroy Foundation is governed by a Board of eleven local community leaders and advised by an Emeritus Board and the Ambassadors of Gilroy Foundation. Gilroy Foundation is affiliated with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), the nation’s largest community foundation with about $13.5 billion in assets. SVCF also provides legal and financial assistance to our Board of Directors and donors.