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$37,000 in Phoenix Scholarships Awarded to Ventura College Students

04-05-2016 09:11 AM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Ventura College Founation

/ PR Agency: Mayerson Marketing & PR
Ventura, Calif. — Six military veterans were among the 21 adults who received a total of $37,000 in Phoenix Scholarships from the Ventura College Foundation at an awards ceremony held March 31 at the Wright Event Center on the Ventura College campus. The annual scholarships are awarded to Ventura College re-entry students with minimal or no financial resources to cover the costs of their education.

At the 17th annual event, each student received a scholarship between $1,000 and $5,000. In previous years, all students received $1000. The larger scholarships launched this year reflect the increasing cost of education and several Foundation donors’ desire to relieve as many barriers to education as possible.

Mark Martinez, a veteran and Ventura resident, received the $5,000 Aurora Loss Phoenix Scholarship. Martinez served in the military for eight years and after Ventura College plans to transfer to a four-year university to get a degree in political science. His long-term goals are to get his teaching credential and law degree. Six students received a $3,000 Stan Weisel Phoenix Scholarship. These students include Ana Leon and Renee Dixon, both of Ventura; April Nickerson of Port Hueneme; Jaclyn Moore of Oxnard; Julia Jones of Ojai and Maribel Aguilar of Santa Paula. (A complete list of the 2016 Phoenix recipients is below.)

The event was hosted by the Foundation’s staff and board of directors. The event sponsor was Stan Weisel, a Ventura resident and founder of the Stan Weisel Endowed Scholarships, who last year pledged to sponsor it for the rest of his life.

The program started in November 1999, when the Ventura College Foundation board of directors learned about the special needs of Ventura College re-entry students. Re-entry students are defined as people who return to school to learn new skills in order to be competitive in the marketplace or who are returning to school after an extended break.

“What stands out among this year’s cohort is their desire to go into fields that help others, to give back to our community in some way. It’s inspiring to be helping these students, and all our Phoenix honorees, reach their personal and professional goals,” said Richard Taylor, Ventura College Foundation board member and one of the Phoenix Scholarship program founders. “We’re all rooting for these students to succeed. By giving them a scholarship, we’re helping to remove a financial barrier so they can focus on their studies.”

To be eligible for a Phoenix Scholarship, students submit an application, three essays, and obtain recommendations from counselors, faculty and employers. Recipients are chosen based on their academic goals and progress, along with their financial need.

2016 Phoenix Scholarship Recipients

Hanna Candell

Julia Jones
Tara Jorgensen

Jaclyn Moore
Brittany Ward
Miguel Villa

Port Hueneme:
Donya Bautista
Phillip Le
April Nickerson

Santa Paula:
Maribel Aguilar
Morgan Stewart

Renee Dixon
Carrie Fisher
Ana Leon
Scott Logan
Mark Martinez
Anthony McKinney
April Michalski-Toth
Alan Shattuck
Jason Shefferd

Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation provides financial support to the students and the programs of Ventura College to facilitate student success and grow the impact and legacy of Ventura College as a vital community asset. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace, an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus east parking lot. For more information, contact Norbert Tan at (805) 289-6160 or Or visit

2955 Hillcrest Ave
Westlake Village, CA 91362

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