YUCCA VALLEY — Yucca Valley High School seniors are almost finished with their high school careers. With only two weeks left of school, the students are already preparing for their future lives at college, in the military or joining the workforce. On Wednesday night, some of these Trojans got a little help for their future endeavors at the 51st annual Yucca Valley High School Senior Awards and Scholarships Program.
“We’re here to celebrate the nearly $2.5 million in scholarships that our students received,” Principal Justin Monical said. “Without this start, many of our students would not be able to realize their dreams.”
Monical welcomed a crowd of a few hundred students and family members to the YVHS gym. Donned in their graduation attire, dozens of students received scholarships.
The first scholarship of the night was given to class of 2019 valedictorian Daniel Goddard. Goddard earned a full scholarship valued at $450,000 to attend the United States Naval Academy.
“On behalf of the superintendent, it is my pleasure to appoint Daniel Goddard as a recipient,” said presenter Jake Griffith. “This is a very prestigious scholarship.”
Goddard plans to become an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps following his education.
Jennifer Jungwirth, AVID advisor at YVHS, gave out four scholarships to students. AVID is a college readiness program that helps students develop the skills they need to be successful in college.
“We raise this money by selling baked goods at the football games,” Jungworth said.
Megan Bock, Arlene Castro and Veronica Costa received $500 scholarships and Sarah Rodriguez received a $1,000 scholarship. Rodriguez will be attending California State University, East Bay in the fall to study journalism.
Holly Gessler was awarded a scholarship for winning the Boy & Girls Club of the Hi-Desert Youth of the Year Award, being a San Andreas Regional Youth of the Year and a finalist in the state Youth of the Year contest.
“She has been with us since 2007 and has over 3,000 volunteer hours,” said Shawn Moon, CEO of the local club.
Dozens of additional students received scholarships from Copper Mountain College, local environmental groups, businesses and more.
Additionally, students were celebrated for receiving scholarships from the universities they will attend.
QuestBridge scholar Tommy Cruz received a full scholarship to Williams College valued at $266,620. Angie Reutgen, who recently signed to Cornell University’s women’s basketball team, received $124,352 in scholarship funding.
The night ended by honoring students who are choosing to enlist in the armed forces after high school graduation. Brandon Beaston and Alexander Kulka were recognized as future U.S. Army soldiers while Andrew Davis, Jehe Mendoza and Blake Webb were honored as future U.S. Navy sailors.
Reutgen and Noah Baxter were awarded U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Awards.