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June 25, 2008 > Cargill Gives $4,500 to Newark Students

Cargill Gives $4,500 to Newark Students

Submitted By Jill Singleton

For the second consecutive year, Cargill expanded its scholarship program, awarding six Newark Memorial High School graduating seniors college scholarships totaling $4,500. The top prize of $2,000 went to Long Tran, who will study molecular biology at UCLA in the fall.

Five awards of $500 are going to: Nicole Hui, who will study political science at Yale University; Ignacio Espinoza, who will attend Stanford University as a chemistry major; Phillip Pollock and Anna Lisa Belliss who will both attend UC Santa Barbara, majoring in business economics and communications, respectively; and Elizabeth Arellano, who will study political science at UC Davis.

Cargill has awarded nearly $25,000 since 1999 when the company established the Claire Lopez Memorial Scholarship program to honor the legendary Leslie Salt/Cargill Salt chief engineer and former school board member. Criteria for the scholarships include academic excellence, community service, extra-curricular activities and financial need.

In 2007, Cargill doubled the size of the grants in recognition of the increasing costs of education, and this year added a sixth scholarship to the top prize of $2000 and four $500 awards.

"This was such a terrific group of kids. It was impossible to choose five, so we added a sixth grant," said Aileen Fox, Human Resources Manager at Cargill, who was one of the Cargill employees who judged the scholarship applications.

The scholarship criteria reflect the personal attributes of Lopez, a self-taught man who rose to the rank of Chief Engineer, modernizing and expanding the 40,000-acre salt industry in the San Francisco Bay Area and building new plants internationally. Lopez (1899-1994) was not only a lifelong learner, but a forward thinker, an inventor, a beloved mentor within the industry and a community leader in the Tri-Cities area.

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