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Press Releases - 2009

CONTACT: Mary Planding,
Director, Marketing & Communications
(831) 479-6158
mary.plandings [at]

June 11, 2009


Three Generations of the Ow Family
Present the 20th Year of American Dream Scholarships
68 High School Students Receive Scholarships to Attend Cabrillo College


APTOS, CA—Thanks to the generosity of the Ow Family, a long-time supporter of the Cabrillo College 68 graduating local high school seniors have received $500 American Dream scholarships to Cabrillo College.

For students like Elda Meza, 18, an aspiring international business major who is graduating from Santa Cruz High this year, the scholarship will offset basic tuition and book expenses and give her the opportunity to focus on learning Mandarin. Adrian Torres, 18, a hip hop dancer and senior at Watsonville High, the dream is to become a fire cadet and eventually a fireman. Marisol Anaya, the daughter of fieldworker, is graduating from Pajaro Valley High and wants to study nursing.

In a celebration held in the Sesnon House Gardens on June 2, three generations of the Ow Family celebrated the students’ dreams and presented them with traditional medallions hung on red-, white- and blue-striped ribbons.

“I look at you and I’m very inspired,” George Ow, Jr. said to the students gathered at the ceremony. “I know you will go far. I don’t see any reason why you can’t.” Noting the difficult economic climate, Ow told the students he knew they would be able to find the opportunity in the challenges ahead. “We believe in you. Our investment in you is a really good thing.”

The American Dream program was created by the Ow Family to provide scholarships to ethnic minority and disadvantaged students. Since 1989, the Ow Family has awarded $253,000 to more than 500 graduating high school students coming to Cabrillo. It is just one of the many ways the Ow Family has supported students and mission of Cabrillo College over the years.

“The Ows are leaders in building our community in so many different ways,” said Cabrillo College President Brian King. “The example George Ow has set for the community is truly inspiring.”

For Hyo-Jin Light, a senior at Watsonville High who is an aspiring teacher, musician and actor, the scholarship helps his dreams become reality. “Young people have to believe we are not alone,” he said.

The Cabrillo College Foundation is a national leader among community college foundations. This year, Cabrillo College students received a record-breaking $403,024 in scholarships, which allowed them to focus on their academic dreams.

The Cabrillo College Foundation
The Cabrillo College Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1962 to raise private donations for the support of Cabrillo programs. Private support is used for student scholarships, research and educational programs, faculty and departmental support, facilities, and equipment. Of the 1,400 community colleges in the nation, the Cabrillo College Foundation ranks among the top 2%.

About Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers more than 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to four-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.

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