11 Colma scholarship fund recipients bared despite lockdown


By Jun Nucum

The Colma Citizens Scholarship Fund announced this year’s 11 recipients in the recent Town Council meeting.

Colma Citizens Scholarship Fund Committee Chair Maureen O’Connor recalled the Fund was established by Lucky Chances Casino in 2000 and is fully funded by that business.

“Between 2000 and 2019 the fund awarded $312,128 in scholarships. This year an additional $10,500 is being awarded,” O’Connor said. “I want to thank Mr. Rommel Medina, the owner and president of Lucky Chances, under the direction of his father, Mr. Rene Medina. They have been very supportive of Colma citizens and the community.”

The Scholarship Fund Committee, consisting of six members, four Colma citizens-at-large and two Lucky Chances employees who screened applicants and their qualifications are: Perla Denina, Liz Taylor, Maryann Zapanta, Erlinda Cachuela, Carmela Mamaril and O’Connor herself.

O’Connor recognized the 2020-2021 scholarship recipients. She said Colma has every reason to be proud of:

  1. Tatiana Pulido Gomez who attends Our Lady of the Visitation School
  2. Hannah Balton who attends Skyline Community College
  3. Kathleen Garrett who is pursuing piano lessons
  4. Mei Luu who attends Golden Gate University
  5. Gabriel Pacis who attends Our Lady of Perpetual Help School
  6. Aiden Galli who attends Pacific Bay Christian School
  7. Sean Goodwin who will attend College of San Mateo
  8. Leonardo Navarro who attends California Polytechnic State University
  9. Sarah Walsh who will attend the University of Oregon
  10. Carmela Roque who will attend the University of Texas at Austin
  11. Aidan Figlietti who will attend the University of California, Santa Cruz”

O’Connor explained that January notices to apply for the scholarships were sent to every Colma household. Additionally, an announcement was included in the February Live Wire and announcements and applications were available at Town Hall, the Colma Community Center, and Sterling Park Recreation Center.

“Because of the COVID-19 shut down in mid-March the application deadline was extended to June 1st. This was announced via an insert in the May Live Wire.  We want Colma residents to know of this important opportunity to support their education,” O’Connor said.

Applicants for academic tuition must meet academic requirements of a 2.5 or better GPA and also must meet community service standards as well as being a current Colma resident.

An individual may be awarded up to five scholarships over time and there may be only one resident receiving a scholarship per household at any one time.

Unlike most scholarship opportunities, these scholarships may be requested

  • for school tuition ranging from elementary school through post-graduate education,
  • for school books and materials,
  • for continuing education,
  • for work training and certification, and
  • for self-improvement educational opportunities.

These scholarships not limited just for college tuition.

“Needless to say, Colma residents are very fortunate. Lucky Chances is pleased to be able to support these Colma citizens in their educational and self-improvement endeavors,” O’Connor said. “We all wish them the very best and know that as educated citizens with strong values and high standards they will contribute much to the community locally and beyond.

On behalf of the town chamber, presiding Colma Mayor John Goodman expressed his appreciation for what Lucky Chances Casino has done for the advancement of these promising students.