Kiwanis Foundation awards $60K in scholarships

DOWNEY –The Downey Kiwanis Foundation’s 30th annual scholarship banquet, which took place at the Rio Hondo Event Center on May 28, recognized 33 high school students and three teachers from Downey, Warren, Lakewood and Columbus high schools. 

The Downey Kiwanis Foundation awarded a total of $60,000.

The Downey Kiwanis Foundation was formed in 1985 to provide a vehicle by which Kiwanians, as well as friends and other members of the community, could contribute to a managed perpetual fund in support of specific emphasis on benefiting the youth of our community.  

The initial goal of the foundation was to establish scholarships “for economically disadvantaged high school students who have shown a willingness to support their community and who need help in continuing their training.”  

The original six scholarships have expanded to more than 25 scholarships for Downey Unified students. 

“It is always a pleasure to personally get to know the students we are awarding the scholarships to,” said Jerry Wetzstein, president of Downey Kiwanis Foundation. “Our students work very hard and the scholarships are very well-deserved.”  

Students applied for several different scholarships varying from $400 to $20,000. Students were interviewed by Kiwanis Club of Downey members as the final selection process for the scholarship.  

Scholarship winners include:

Zachary Winter, Elizabeth Aceves, Silvia Preciado, Megan Gomez, Ian Ramirez, Regan Johnson, Michelle Kam, Ashley Clemens, Katherine Lua, Joshua Tafoya, Jennifer Xilo, Angel Castro, Isabella Gutierrez, Luis Valencia, Lisandra Estrada, Nicolas Hernandez, Karina Gonzalez, Dominique M. Rodriguez, Christian Escobedo, Joshua R Duarte, Sarah L McGarry, Bohesa Won, Nicholas James Barger, Aaron Thormodsen, Freddy Menendez, Reginald Del Rosario, Madeline Fletes, Brianna Dominguez, Blanca Robledo, Ana Rosales-Galvez, Michael Quesada, Jacqueline Rivero and Ariceli Gurule-Larios.

Teachers of the Year were Grant Warhurst (Downey High), Daniela Keeler (Warren High) and Deborah Young (Columbus High).

To learn more about the Downey Kiwanis Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Downey, visit