The Sanger Foundation Board

Pete Filippi, President

Don Vincenti, Vice President

Tim Lopez, Secretary

Dennis Wiechmann, Treasurer

Joe Doyland, Director

Laurie Doyle, Director

Derrin Gibbs, Director

Liz Hudson, Director

Gina Lynn Olson, Director

Margaret Tejerian, Director

Donna Vincenti, Director

2023 Senior Scholarship Award Recipients

The Foundation for Sanger Schools distributed an amazing $21,500 in Senior Scholarships in 2023. This was made possible with the support of Granville Homes, EECU, Harris Construction, and individual donors in the community. Please take a moment to learn more about our seven recipients!

COLIN MANFREDO
Colin’s GPA stands at an incredible 4.556 which places him second in his class. He intends to major in international affairs/relations or political science with the intention to work an internship in Washington, D.C. After applying to nearly 20 colleges and universities, Colin has been accepted at six so far, including California State University, Fresno and Arizona State University. Colin hopes to attend either Georgetown or Princeton upon acceptance. Colin was awarded the Foundation’s $5,000 student scholarshipThis scholarship was sponsored by EECU.

The impressive list of Colin’s co-curricular activities includes Future Farmers of America, Agriscience Fair, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, High School Bass Federation, and more. He has received numerous honors and awards during his student career. Colin won three first place awards at the FFA State Agriscience Fair and two first place awards at the FFA National Agriscience Fair. He is a California Scholarship Federation Lifetime Member and has earned the Academic Scholar Award from 2019 to 2023. Colin is the first student in Sanger High School’s history to complete dual enrollment in the Wonderful Career Prep Pathway and the AP Capstone Pathway simultaneously while attending high school.

Colin believes in always striving for the best by reaching for the sky. He finds fulfillment in working as hard as possible to help others in the community by making a lasting impact. During his high school career, Colin has focused on deliberately overachieving in everything he does.

“I believe people should be encouraged to strive for new heights without worrying about being ridiculed for trying,” Colin says when describing his phenomenal efforts. “It’s the only way we’ll continue to create breakthroughs.”

 

KRISHNA SAM
Krishna holds a GPA of 4.449 and he intends to major in political science at University of California, San Diego or University of California, Berkeley. Krishna has applied to a total of nine locations, including Stanford and Harvard. Krishna was awarded the Foundation’s $5,000 student scholarship. This scholarship was sponsored by Harris Construction.

During his high school tenure, Krishna participated in Little League Baseball, Video Club, and Tutoring Club. He acted as a student assistant and participated in the California Scholarship Federation. Krishna’s scholar awards consist of numerous achievements, including AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, and AP Scholar with Honor, Rural and Small Town Scholar, and he is a recipient of the AP Capstone Diploma, the Sanger High Academic Block “S” Award, and the Scholar Athlete Award. Krishna is a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Krishna has a passion for uplifting others through his deep love of baseball. The pandemic disrupted his desire to play the sport throughout his high school career and upon his return to in-person lessons, he became a student umpire for the Sunnyside Lone Star Little League. Krishna has undertaken the additional hobby of sports photography to help inspire athletes to continue pushing forward.

In referencing his love for photography, Krishna explains, “. . . what makes me happy is seeing the athletes react to their photos, as I’ve aimed to capture their raw emotions. Elation. Celebration. Adversity. Perseverance. I’ve aimed to capture those moments of athletes, and, when I’m able to provide them, it makes my community all the stronger.”

 

SERENITY VANG
Serenity has a GPA of 4.387 and plans to major in biology. Serenity has applied to California State University, Fresno and California State University, Bakersfield. She plans to attend classes at California State University, Fresno. Serenity was awarded the Foundation’s $3,500 student scholarship.

Serenity has been an active member of Future Farmers of America, the California Scholarship Federation, and Sanger High School’s Asian Club. She participated in the nkauj hnub ci Hmong dance group, has completed multiple community service projects, and played on the badminton team. Serenity’s honors throughout her four years in high school include English 9, Integrated Math 1, Integrated Math 2, Biology, World Literature, Advanced Math, and Chemistry.

Community service became a part of Serenity’s life after her youngest brother was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. Serenity discovered she could touch the lives of children at Valley Children’s Hospital through the act of writing endearing cards. She expanded her project to include sending cards to veterans and seniors in retirement homes.

Serenity strongly believes in the community. She states, “A stronger community benefits everyone, creating a safer and a more connecting community. Therefore, in the future, we can depend on and look out for each other when there are times of need.”

 

DYLAN SIMONE KILBY
Dylan has maintained a GPA of 4.385 and she plans to study architecture to help design and build affordable homes across the nation. Dylan applied to seven educational institutions and has been accepted to five with the final two responses still pending. She is planning to attend either University of California, Berkeley or University of California, Santa Cruz. Dylan was awarded the Foundation’s $2,500 student scholarship.

Dylan’s list of and co-curricular activities is extensive. She held multiple leadership positions, including Sophomore Class Secretary for one-year, Junior Class President for one year, Associated Student Body Vice President for one year, and Varsity Golf Team Captain for four years. She volunteered in the Interact Club for four years and was a volunteer with HOPE Sanger for one year. Dylan enrolled in the Engineering Pathway throughout the course of her high school career. The awards Dylan has received include Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, CMAC Champion, Engineering Design Challenge, and Scholar Athlete, to name a few.

Volunteering has made a large impact on Dylan’s life, and it is through volunteering that she has found her mission. Her years of working directly with the community have inspired her to tackle the housing crisis in the United States.

When speaking of her time volunteering, Dylan reflects, “The opportunity to hand deliver individually wrapped gifts, food bins, and gift cards to needy families is rewarding and helps build bonds among community members. Lending a helping hand is one of the most authentic forms of compassion.”

 

VALERIA MERCADO
Valeria’s GPA is 4.667 and she plans to study biology to become a cardiologist. She has applied to an incredible 25 colleges and universities, including Duke, Yale, and Stanford. Valeria hopes to attend Stanford. Valeria was awarded the Foundation’s $2,500 student scholarship.

In her four years of attending Sanger High School, Valeria participated in numerous co-curricular activities. Her extra activities include volunteering through HOPE Sanger for four years, playing varsity golf for four years, and participating in the Spanish Honor Society for four years. Valeria earned the Block “S” Award and became a California Scholarship Federation Lifetime Member for four years.

Valeria found ways to volunteer in her community through fundraising, social media outreach, and direct communication. She is pleased to have connected HOPE Sanger with Wells Fargo in a new relationship that resulted in a $100,000 donation to HOPE Sanger. This generous donation went toward renovations and new construction for HOPE’s housing units.

In reflecting on the exciting impact Valeria made, she shares, “I hope that my journey will help to further influence others to embark on their own journeys in creating positive fundamental impacts on their communities.”

 

EMERSON WEBER
Emerson is a student at Hallmark Academy and is first in her class with a GPA of 4.0. She hopes to study nursing at California State University, Fresno where she has already been accepted. Emerson was awarded the Foundation’s $1,500 student scholarship.

She participated in numerous Hallmark co-curriculars, including Leadership, Baking Club, Speech and Debate, Academic Decathlon, and Yearbook. Emerson joined Sanger High School’s Best Buddies, Interact, and Student Government clubs. Emerson served as the co-captain of the Hallmark Speech and Debate Club for two years and acted as the co-founder and co-president of the Hallmark Baking Club for one year. She has been honored as a scholar for two years in the National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program and she won fourth place in the California Dairies Baking Contest.

During her time as a volunteer, Emerson made a difference in her community by working with three-year-old children by teaching them problem-solving and critical thinking skills. She volunteered with the SUSD Family Resource Center where she handed out backpacks and she assisted with the Friends of the Library book sale.

Emerson found an immediate connection to volunteering due to memorable experiences she had with volunteers as a child. In speaking of the importance of volunteering, Emerson says, “Because of the experiences I had, I hold the value of community close to my heart and value it greatly. This is what pushes me to give back in any way I can, specifically through service.”

 

MICHAEL BEDROSIAN
Michael’s GPA is 4.22 and he anticipates obtaining an MBA in accounting. Michael hopes to earn his CPA license and later become a chief financial officer. He has applied to ten educational institutions and has been accepted to nine with one pending. Michael will attend either Tabor College or Concordia University, Nebraska and plans to play college tennis. Michael was awarded the Foundation’s $1,500 student scholarship.

Michael participated in Boy Scouts of America, Future Farmer’s of America, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team. He served in the Sanger High School Student Government and played on the tennis team. Michael is a CSF Lifetime Member, he earned the Eagle Scout ranking in Boy Scouts of America, he was honored as an Academic Scholar for four years, and he was awarded as a Scholar Athlete for four years. Michael earned multiple honors for sports, including the Arrowhead Character award, MVP for two years, and CMAC Tennis Player of the Year.

While completing his volunteer hours, Michael found it humbling to serve on Memorial Day when he placed flags on the gravesites of men and women who sacrificed everything to protect our country. Michael spent time decorating Christmas trees at the California Armenian Home, assembled hygiene packets for local homeless residents and veterans, and cleaned the rodeo grounds for the Clovis Rodeo.

Michael appreciates his time volunteering in different parts of the community. When summarizing his experience helping the homeless population, he states, “This project helped them with their needs in a tough time in their life. I learned by giving. This makes a difference in people’s lives and they appreciate it!”

2019-20 Excellent in Education Awardees

The Foundation allocates $6,000 annually for this effort. Funding request maybe programmatic, enhanced training opportunities, and pilot projects that are designed to enhance overall student learning A total of three, $2,000 grants are awarded annually.

Sanger Academy 
Program: Cut Your Demo in The Bears Studio!
Students Served: 630
Amount Awarded: $2,000

This grant will fund a recording studio to allow students to record their guitar, band and choir music, and also create original musical content and possibly work with a group to record and produce their own podcast. This will be showcased weekly throughout the school Podcast YouTube Channel.

Del Rey Elementary
Program: Knights are Family

Students Served: 260
Amount Awarded: $2,000

This grant will be used to purchase Lego sets and supplies for a Family Lego Event, the goal to give students and families time to spend working together toward a common goal. These types of activities have been shown to give students a better chance for overall success in school.

Wilson Elementary
Program: Wilson Community Science Workshop

Students Served: 140
Amount Awarded: $2,000

Selected classes will rotate through the workshop in the library with support from the SAM Academy Staff and will be guided to design and build projects allowing them to develop age appropriate skills and to work with a wide range of materials and tools. Each project is designed to help with the sense-making of STEM concepts and careers.

2022-2023 School Site Grant Awardees

The Foundation for Sangers Schools has allocated a record $8,000.00 to help support four school sites with various educational projects.

Jackson Elementary
Principal:  Michelle Carr
Applicant:  Erica Lopez
Program:  STAR Club
Amount:  $2,000.00

Jefferson Elementary
Principal:  Soki Siv  
Applicant: Stepfanie Fuerte and Theresea Valdez  
Program:  Jefferson Student Leadership
Amount: $2,000.00

Lincoln Elementary  
Principal:  Holly Willett  
Applicant:  Laurie Bianchi  
Program:  Lights, Camera, Talk
Amount: $2,000.00

WAMS
Principal:  Leo Castillo
Applicant:  Heidi Schiefer  
Program:  Leadership EDGE Course   
Amount: $2,000.00

2020-21 Community Service Grant Awardees

The Foundation for Sanger Schools has allocated $4,000 for school sites and departments to utilize these funds for a host of service projects that will make a difference in our community. The Foundation encourages projects that make a direct impact within the boundaries of Sanger Unified School Districts. Projects could include, but are not limited to: tree planting, park, neighborhood or even individual yard clean up, window cleaning, painting projects, serving the homeless, creating care packages for those less fortunate, and much more.

Jefferson Elementary
Principal:  Soki Siv
Program: “Growing” Our Education

Creation of community school garden to grow flowers, herbs, fruits, vegetables, and succulents. Garden will be used to teach lessons on match, science, sustainability, and community of caring values. Majority of supplies planned to be purchased from local businesses, and products would be donated or sold back to the community.

Sanger High School
Principal:  Kirstin Coronado
Program: Civic Education Projects

Develop Civil Service Projects to encourage students to explore ways they can participate in their communities and affect enduring positive change. Each class section debates and chooses one challenge in the community and together determine course of action, the goal for them and to develop an action plan that will continue to affect positive change even after their project is completed.

2022-2023 Classroom Grant Awardees

The Foundation for Sangers Schools has allocated a record $11,250.00 to help teachers with viable classroom projects.  This year, 15 teachers have been awarded up to $750.00 to implement these very exciting projects.

Centerville Elementary
Teacher:  Alejandra Lomeli  
Program: STEAM Corner  

Community Day School
Teacher:  Mark Coffman
Program: Indoor Plant Photosynthesis  

Del Rey Elementary
Teacher:  Traci Tuckers
Program: Family Arts Project  

Fairmont Elementary
Teacher:  Tish Jett
Program: Artificial Intelligence Everywhere  

Hallmark Academy  
Teacher:  Saurina Beach  
Program: Intendant Chemical Reaction Experiment and Research  

Jefferson Elementary
Teacher:  Rhonda Tyler  
Program: Preparing Multilingual Learners for the Future

Lincoln Elementary  
Teacher:  Hannah Johnson  
Program: Coding for Kinder  
Reagan Elementary
Teacher: Tina Kubose  
Program: Math Engagement Project

Reagan Elementary
Teacher: Haley Walsh  
Program: Career Exploration  

Sanger Academy Charter School  
Teacher:   Silvia Fernandez-Torres
Program:  K-2 Steam Club

Sanger High School
Teacher:  Wyatt Gibson   
Program:  Welding Trailer Project  

Sanger West High School
Teacher:   Jade Martinez  
Program: Flexible Seating  

WAMS
Teacher:  Kristi Torres
Program: Year Book

WAMS
Teacher:  Edward Chaney
Program: Reading Corner  

Wilson Elementary  
Teacher:  Dolores Leal-Martinez   
Program: ABC123 – You and Me