Visalia Rotary Community Foundation announces scholarship winners

The Visalia Rotary Community Foundation (VRCF) 2022-23 scholarship winners showcase the area’s best and brightest, including students who are passionate about music, medicine and engineering. Student winners came from all four of Visalia’s public high schools, demonstrating that talent abounds all over the city.

VRCF offers four kinds of scholarships, each funded by a major donor from a local Rotary club. These include The Jane and Bill Nash Scholarship (one year, for a Redwood High School graduate); The Dwelle Four-Year Scholarship (also for a Redwood grad, for four years of college); The Provident Salierno Family Foundation Music Scholarship (a one-time gift for students interested in a music career); and The Richard B. “Dick” Watson STEM Scholarship (two, one-time scholarships for students pursuing a major in science, technology, engineering or math).

Scholarship winners this year are:

McKenna Cook, a Redwood graduate, received both the Nash and Dwelle scholarships, for $4,000 and $20,000 respectively. Cook had a weighted GPA of 4.20, and lettered in soccer three years at Redwood. She plans to attend San Diego State University majoring in kinesiology with a career goal of becoming a physical therapist.

Sylvie Gonzalez (Golden West) and Sean Nickell (Redwood) both received STEM scholarships for $2,000. Gonzalez will be the first person in her immediate family to attend college. Her ultimate goal is to study medicine and become a doctor to honor her late uncle, who was a pediatrician. Nickell graduated from Redwood’s Linked Learning Engineering Academy with a weighted GPA of 4.07. His goal is to major in Civil Engineering and become a civil engineer.

Five students received $1,000 Salierno music scholarships. Jordana Chano (Golden West) graduated from Golden West with distinction. She is passionate about music and plans to make it a primary focus of his college experience.

Yhency Labasan (Mt. Whitney) graduated from Mt. Whitney with a weighted GPA of 3.65. He plans to major in Music and his ultimate goal is to becoming a music producer.

Benjamin Moreno (El Diamante) with a weighted GPA of 3.57. He plans to attend CSU Los Angeles and major in music with the ultimate goal of becoming a music producer.


Julia Sample (Mt. Whitney) plans to attend a performing arts academy, majoring in theater, and master the craft of acting to be able to perform in plays and movies.

Kyla Seitz (Redwood) finished with a weighted GPA of 4.15. She plans to attend UCLA to major in music and hopes to become a band director or symphonic percussionist.

VCRF was established in 1992 and has been giving out scholarships since 2000. Its Board of Directors is comprised of members of the five Rotary clubs in Visalia: Visalia Rotary Club, County Center Rotary, Breakfast Rotary, and Sunset Rotary. To learn more about the VCRF scholarship program, visit   

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