Seven students were selected to receive the ASUCD Scholarship last December.
The awards are directed toward outstanding students, intending to recognize and support UC Davis students with outstanding character.
The selections are based on a holistic assessment of high academic or athletic achievement, exceptional leadership, service to the university and outside community, care for the environment, financial need, first-generation college attendance and endurance in personal hardship.
The awards totaled over $3,000.
Ana Maciel, an undeclared first-year student and a recipient, is the second of five children and the first to graduate from high school and attend a four-year university in her family. She was raised in an underrepresented agricultural community.
“My family is not financially stable at the moment, but [receiving] scholarships like these is what really pushes me to stay in school,” Maciel said.
Sam Vang, a fourth-year biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology major and a first-generation Hmong student attending UC Davis and another scholarship recipient, said he “screamed some ‘woots’” when he learned he won the scholarship.
“[I] would definitely recommend any other student, especially those with financial needs, to apply for this scholarship,” he said.
The scholarship attempts to help and highlight the cross-section of UC Davis students who may need financial assistance, but for reasons outside of their control, may not be able to achieve the high GPA required for most campus scholarships.
ASUCD Senator Bradley Bottoms, a third-year political science and sociology major, was on the selection committee and said he personally read over 140 applications.
“It was amazing to read what students go through and how qualified they are,” he said.
Bottoms said he appreciates the scholarship for its ability to let students help other students, which he thinks allows for a more sympathetic process.
“It’s the thing that makes me the most proud about ASUCD; everyone can get behind it,” he said.
The ASUCD Scholarship has also been commended by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who congratulated each recipient personally.
“This award allowed me to see how much UC Davis cares about students like myself,” said Carolina Tavárez, a Spanish and Portuguese department graduate student and McNair Scholar from the Dominican Republic.
Also among the recipients are Destiny Garcia, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major; Mel Tang, a fifth-year Asian American studies major; Axana Rodriguez-Torres, a neurobiology, physiology and behavior transfer student and Yaldah Sultan, a first-generation college student and psychology major.
Now in its 13th year, the scholarship has been a focus of resurgence and fundraising in ASUCD, as they plan to match every dollar donated to the fund from outside of the Association — up to a total of $50,000.
Carly Sandstrom, a third-year international relations and economics major, is leading the fundraising effort to double the number of scholarships awarded and raise the scholarship endowment by $100,000, from $300,000 to $400,000. She aims to do so by appealing to corporate donors and organizing events at halftime during basketball games or at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center.
The next application cycle is scheduled to begin at the start of Spring Quarter. More information can be found at the ASUCD website. Donations can be made at giving.ucdavis.edu.
CHANDLER HILL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.