Home Industry News Releases CAWG Foundation Awards $34,000 in Student Scholarships

CAWG Foundation Awards $34,000 in Student Scholarships


SACRAMENTO, June 8, 2021 – The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Foundation has awarded $34,000 in college scholarships to seven students. The scholarships are awarded annually to students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. 

“The CAWG Foundation is honored to award these scholarships and show our support for vineyard employees who are valued members of our winegrape industry family,” said Davindar Mahil, chair of the CAWG Foundation board of directors. “The recipients exemplify excellence – in scholastic achievements, extracurricular activities and community service. We are so impressed with how hard these students have worked to pursue higher education, and we are pleased to help them with their academic goals.”

Each year the CAWG Foundation board selects several recipients from high schools throughout the state. Scholarship selection is based on scholastic ability, financial need, community involvement, leadership and an essay. Since the program’s inception in 1998, the foundation has awarded $528,500 in scholarships. Funds are raised through the generous donations of members of CAWG and the California wine community.

The four-year scholarships are $8,000 each for students attending a University of California or California State University campus. An additional $5,000 scholarship was awarded this year to a high-caliber applicant. The two-year college scholarships are $2,000 each for students attending a California community college. The Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship was created by the family of Bob Miller, a California wine industry leader who helped establish the Central Coast as a leading winegrape growing region. The scholarship invests in the future of Central Coast students who plan to study viticulture or enology at either Allan Hancock College or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and pursue a career in the region’s winegrape industry. 

Four-Year University Scholarship Recipients / $8,000 each

  • Jocelyn Cervantes Cabrera, Bakersfield, Foothill High School
  • Dafne Cruz Rodriguez, Santa Rosa, Windsor High School
  • Lyzet Montañez Hurtado, Clearlake, Lower Lake High School

Four-Year University Scholarship Recipient / $5,000

  • Rebecca Hernandez, Windsor, Windsor High School

Two-Year Community College Scholarship Recipients / $2,000 each

  • Daniela Romero, Plymouth, Amador High School
  • Samantha Zavala Ferro, Ione, Amador High School

Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship Recipient / $1,000 

  • Lauryn Allen, Templeton, Templeton High School



Jocelyn Cervantes Cabrera, Bakersfield, Foothill High School

Jocelyn is a first-generation Mexican-American who believes that education will pave the way to a better future. She is an exceptional student, who managed community college courses in addition to her rigorous high school courses and achieved a 4.5 GPA. Jocelyn was active in numerous school clubs and held leadership positions for three years with student government. She greatly contributed to community service projects, including a homeless shelter, local library, highway cleanup and toy drive. She also volunteered at the Kern Medical Hospital, helping care for NICU babies. Jocelyn plans to attend UC Berkeley, major in biochemistry and someday become a neurologist. Her counselor wrote, “Jocelyn has left a very positive impact on our campus. I know she will continue to accomplish greatness wherever her path leads her in the future“ and “she will be successful in anything she sets her mind to.”

Dafne Cruz Rodriguez, Santa Rosa, Windsor High School

Dafne likes to dream big and has high aspirations to make a positive impact in her community and the world. A first-generation Mexican-American, she has worked hard for her academic success, achieving the No. 1 rank in her class with a 4.6 GPA. Dafne has an extensive list of leadership and volunteer experiences, including Project T.R.U.E. (Teen R U Educated), Committee for Change, Sonoma County Library and Windsor Unified School District (WUSD) student representative. She was also member of the varsity cross country/track and field team. Dafne plans to attend UC Berkeley or UC Irvine and major in political science or sociology, and then pursue a career in law or education. The WUSD student services coordinator wrote, “Dafne has a strong, positive impact in each of her endeavors” and her “work ethic, passion and motivation will serve her well as she takes on post-secondary education and future goals.”

Lyzet Montañez Hurtado, Clearlake, Lower Lake High School

Lyzet’s parents and siblings instilled in her a love for learning and encouraged her to do well in school. Despite some setbacks, she persevered and pushed herself to achieve her full potential. Lyzet excelled in challenging courses, earning a top-ranking 4.3 GPA. She also took 30 units at community colleges, earning a 4.0 GPA. Lyzet balanced academics with extracurricular activities, volunteer endeavors and part-time work. She was on track and field, soccer and volleyball teams. She served on numerous clubs, including the Class of 2021 Council for five years, Upward Bound Council, Tobacco Coalition and Interact Rotary Club. Lyzet plans to attend UC Berkeley, major in political science and pursue a career as a lawyer. The Upward Bound assistant director wrote, “Lyzet combines a total self-determination and a superior work ethic. She will undoubtedly excel in academia through determination, motivation and intelligence. Her potential is limitless.” 


Rebecca Hernandez, Windsor, Windsor High School

The daughter of immigrants, Rebecca will be the first in her family to attend college, which will bring great pride to her Latino community and family. Her hard work in school, which included nine AP classes, resulted in a 4.3 GPA. She also graduated from Cali Calmecac Language Academy, a bilingual school. Rebecca’s extracurricular activities were varsity lacrosse for four years, Key Club and the environmental-focused GSE Club. She has been a vocalist for her church worship team for 10 years and has held a part-time job since 2019. Rebecca plans to attend UC Irvine and major in global cultures, with the goal of becoming a teacher and making a difference in her community. A school program coordinator wrote, “Rebecca is an impressively accomplished student. When it’s time to get work done, whether it be academic, philanthropic, environmental or financial, she buckles down and works.” 


Daniela Romero, Plymouth, Amador High School

With wisdom from her immigrant parents, Daniela takes her education very seriously and strives to take advantage of every opportunity by staying focused, being consistent and excelling in classes. A diligent student with a 4.1 GPA, Daniela prioritized academics while being actively involved throughout high school with the FFA program. Through FFA, she attended leadership conferences, participated in speaking contests, performed community service, earned three FFA degrees, and spent several hundred hours raising market lambs. Daniela plans to attend Modesto Junior College and major in ag education/ag science, then transfer to Chico State. Her goal is to become an ag teacher and inspire students to be part of the industry. Her teacher wrote, “Any teacher on campus will tell you how organized and what an incredible student Daniela is. Her future colleges and her future students will be lucky to have her.” 

Samantha Zavala Ferro, Ione, Amador High School

During high school, Samantha successfully managed difficult academic material because she had a confident maturity, a natural curiosity and an excitement for learning. Her dedication and efforts resulted in a 4.2 GPA. As a Mexican-American daughter of immigrants whose family has faced some challenges, Samantha knows the value of hard work and education. She held a part-time job and performed community service while attending school. From her work experience, her self-confidence, communication and social skills grew. Samantha plans to attend Columbia College, major in psychology and pursue a career as a therapist or teacher. Her teacher wrote, Samantha “finds a way to go above and beyond what is required to truly comprehend and retain what can be challenging concepts” and “will exceed expectations in any field she chooses.” 


Lauryn Allen, Templeton, Templeton High School

Immersed in the wine industry her entire life, Lauryn is excited it will be part of her future. She is a hardworking and ambitious student who took numerous AP and community college courses during high school and earned a 4.3 GPA. Lauryn was active in the U.S. Pony Club for 10 years, Sarah Dubost Equestrian Team for 10 years, the high school newspaper and the STEM-Chemical Engineering Program. Through the STEM program, she interned as a lab technician for several months. She plans to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, major in viticulture and enology, and pursue a career as an enologist, lab technician and sommelier. Her teacher wrote, “Lauryn has proven herself to be an exceptionally driven student, willing to seek out opportunities to advance her understanding in advanced fields” and “would be an asset to any educational institution.”

About the California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation

The CAWG Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that awards scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. For more information, visit www.cawgfoundation.org

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