DOWNEY - More than 200 Downey Unified School District middle school students were honored as Stauffer Scholars during award presentations Oct. 27-28 at the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center.Philanthropist Dr. Mary Stauffer presented checks totaling $26,200 to 210 students to help them start a college savings plan. Stauffer Scholars earned straight As on their report cards for both semesters as fifth or sixth graders during the 2009-10 school year. Out of 242 eligible students, 228 applied for the award. Of the applicants, 210 attended the awards ceremony. Most of the students received checks for $100 while 13 were named Stauffer Scholars of the Year and received $500. Their names were also engraved on their school's perpetual plaque. Stauffer Scholars of the Year include Tara Kazimi (East Middle School); Andres Esparza (Griffiths Middle School); Grace Bowen (West Middle School); Martha Diaz (Carpenter); Megan Henry (Gallatin); Daniel Gonzalez (Gauldin); Valerie Cortez (Lewis); Jeremy Marquez (Old River); Ricardo Gonzalez (Price); Valerie Aguilar (Rio Hondo); Jonathan Jin (Rio San Gabriel); and John Kim (Unsworth). The ceremonies included a speech by retired DUSD administrator Linda Kennedy, who discussed the benefits of starting a college savings plan. Stauffer confirmed to the students that, "Education is the best investment that you could ever make."
********** Published: November 18, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 31