Six Awarded First-Generation Presidential Scholarship at Stan State

June 01, 2020


Demonstrating pride in serving first-generation students from the region, Stanislaus State announced the inaugural cohort of Stanislaus State President’s Central Valley First-Generation Scholars.

The first recipients are: Jose Aguirre III (Atwater), Melana Cook (Modesto), Harman Kooner (Turlock), Guadalupe Marquez (Atwater), Alexis Martinez (Los Banos) and Nathan Rohani (Turlock). The six recipients represent two counties – Stanislaus and Merced – within the six-county region served by Stan State.

Launched by University President Ellen Junn to promote Stan State’s commitment to shaping the future of the Central Valley, three incoming freshmen will receive up to $12,500 for four years and three transfer students will receive up to $12,500 for two years. The scholarships will ensure full coverage of tuition and fees and other expenses sufficient to meet the student’s designated cost of attending the University when combined with additional financial aid grants awarded to them. Students will also receive a laptop computer and support from dedicated professional and career mentors throughout their time at Stan State.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students from Central Valley communities were eligible to apply, and recipients were selected based on academic record, application essays and personal interviews. All scholarship recipients will join the University Honors Program.

“The Central Valley is home to an estimated 87 percent of our students, and these dedicated and visionary students have a strong commitment to staying in the Valley and giving back.” Junn said. “We are proud that 73 percent of our students are first-generation college students. It was only fitting that we create a scholarship that recognizes their accomplishments and aspirations.”

Funding for the scholarships was raised by donations, and Junn was one of the first donors, contributing $50,000 to award an incoming freshman for four years of study.

“I feel so passionately about this initiative, and I take great pride in personally sponsoring one of the first scholarship awards,” Junn said when the drive began. Since the initiative launched in 2018, more than $265,000 has been raised and 281 Warrior supporters have contributed to the scholarship fund. 

To learn more about the First-Generation Scholarship program or to contribute to the fund, please visit the Giving website.