Local Teens Win Don Diego Awards

Carlsbad residents and San Marcos High School seniors Amy Gload and Courtney Ouellette were two of 12 recipients of Don Diego scholarships this year. The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation has awarded a total of $40,500 in college scholarships to outstanding students embarking on their studies this fall. Eligibility was open to San Diego County high school seniors who participated in the San Diego County Fair or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds in one of four categories: FFA, 4H, Employee, and Exhibitor.

Amy won a $2,500 Employee award following four years of working as a groundskeeper at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where she organized a staff carpool and provided excellent customer service. “I will always remember the summers I spent earning money and making memories,” she said. “Receiving this scholarship came as a huge surprise, but reminded me of my love for the fair and all the amazing opportunities it has given me!” Amy plans to pursue a pre-med curriculum at Michigan State in the fall.

Courtney received a $1,000 Exhibitor award from the foundation this year. Instructor Wendy Lee Gammarano praised Courtney’s tenacity, responsibility, and dedication, saying, “She is involved in both school and competitive sports, while volunteering, taking college courses, and working at a veterinarian office.” Courtney will attend Cal State San Marcos in the fall, where she intends to major in political science and minor in communications to prepare her for a career in politics.

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, a.k.a. Tom Hernandez, who served as the fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947 to 1984. Since its inception in 1986, the foundation has awarded approximately $797,000 in scholarships to 177 students and in agriculture education grants. Learn more at www.dondiegoscholarship.org.