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June 12, 2018 > Cargill awards $25,000 to Newark Memorial grads

Cargill awards $25,000 to Newark Memorial grads

Submitted By Jill Singleton

Cargill has awarded 11 Newark Memorial High School graduating seniors a total of $25,000 in college scholarships. Winners of the Claire Lopez Memorial Scholarship were:

Jaspreet Dhandwar-$5,000, Ayush Jain-$4,000, Leon Lambruschini-$3,000, Anna Poon-$3,000, Brigitte Barba-$2,000, Arianna Reyes-$2,000, Jennilyn Taguiam- $2,000, Kenneth Barron-$1,000, Katia Espinoza-$1,000, Juliana Lozzi-$1,000, and Leo McGrath-$1,000.

Since initiating this scholarship at Newark Memorial with a single grant of $1,000 in 1999, Cargill has given away a total of $186,000 to Newark High School graduates.

The scholarships honor the memory of Claire Lopez, former chief engineer of the salt company. Despite having only an 8th grade education, Lopez rose through the ranks to become chief engineer of the Leslie Salt Company (CargillÕs predecessor), overseeing salt operations on 40,000 acres near the San Francisco Bay shoreline. In his professional and personal life, Lopez dedicated much of his time to mentoring young people and served on the Niles (Fremont) School Board.

ÒThese are really great kids itÕs truly gratifying to help them pursue their education,Ó said Ric Notini, Cargill Land Resources Manager. ÒBut perhaps the most gratifying aspect of this scholarship is that it has inspired two others to step forward and create scholarships here in Newark where the need is great.Ó

When businessman Bill Dutra, a former salt company employee, learned Cargill was honoring his mentor, he sponsored a second scholarship, and in 2015, Vinit Nayak, the 2011 Valedictorian and a Claire Lopez recipient, created the Nayak Engineering Scholarship.

Claire Lopez scholarship applicants are judged by a Cargill committee. The criteria include: grades, extra-curricular activities, work history, community service, an essay, and recommendation letters. Special consideration is given to graduates in STEM majors and those with financial need.

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