Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship Fund: A Vineyard Team Initiative
Higher education is important to many students but paying for college can be challenging. The Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship provides multi-year, higher education investments in the children of vineyard and winery workers based on academic excellence, financial need, and community involvement. The majority of awardees are first generation college students. This funding supports students and their families in achieving their dreams of successful graduation from school to pursue a professional career.
98% of past Vineyard Team scholarship recipients have been first generation college students.
- First-Gen students are less likely to persist through post-secondary higher education and graduate from college for two main reasons:
- More often of a lower socioeconomic status with less money to cover their college costs and more likely to work more hours while in school.
- Student and family unfamiliar with navigating educational bureaucracy.
- First-Gen students face more obstacles and psychological challenges than their peers including guilt, shame, confusion and anxiety.
Bridging the gap and addressing the equity of higher education by serving student needs of farm-working families.
- Expand scholarships from single-year to multi-year awards for applicants pursuing junior college, four-year universities, or trade schools.
- Create a new graduation completion incentive program to increase scholars' graduation rates by 2027.
- Hire Scholarship Administrator to manage all aspects of the program from student tracking, student educational mentorship, professional assistance, fundraising, and general administrative duties.
- Develop a metrics-based selection process.
- Develop tracking system to improve efficiencies and better serve the scholars.
- Double the number of scholar recipients in the next 5 years and continue to grow and serve more scholars to meet future needs.
Attending college isn’t solely about economic value, future earnings, or vocational skills. The public often emphasizes these benefits of a college degree, but the benefits to society are just as important. Through volunteer work, leadership, and philanthropic contributions, public/private university graduates enrich the civic and economic life of their communities.
- Over the course of a lifetime, the average bachelor’s degree holder will funnel $278,000 more into local economies than the average wage earner with only a high school diploma. (An associate degree holder contributes $81,000 more.)
- College graduates contribute $44,000 more in local and state taxes that advance civil services, enhance infrastructure, fund public schools, and support the arts.
- College produces community-minded individuals who have a higher rate of civic and philanthropic engagement.
- Graduates are more than twice as likely to volunteer in their communities.
- Charitable contributions of bachelor’s degree holders are 3.5 times higher than high school grads.
- College graduates are nearly five times less likely to be imprisoned.
- First-Gen graduates believe their children will be able to go to college.
- Graduate degree earners spend more than twice as much on local goods and services.
- Compared to high school graduates, bachelor’s degree holders receive $82,000 less in government spending and pay $273,000 more in taxes over a lifetime which equates to a net government benefit of $355,000.
- 75% of American college graduates vote, compared to 52% of those with a high school degree.