Home Industry News Releases CAWG Foundation Awards $31,000 in Student Scholarships 

CAWG Foundation Awards $31,000 in Student Scholarships 

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SACRAMENTO, June 24, 2022 – The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Foundation  has awarded $31,000 in college scholarships to seven students with a parent or legal guardian employed  by a California winegrape grower. 

“We award the CAWG Foundation scholarships each year to honor the families of vineyard employees,  who are valued members of the winegrape industry. Without these workers, we would not thrive, and  these scholarships show our immense appreciation,” said Davindar Mahil, chair of the CAWG  Foundation board of directors. 

The CAWG Foundation board selects scholarship recipients who have demonstrated excellence across  the board, from academic achievement and extracurricular activities to public service and community  involvement. Selection criteria include scholastic ability, financial need, community service, leadership  experience, and a personal essay. 

Since the program’s inception in 1998, the CAWG Foundation has awarded $554,500 in scholarships to  help students pursue higher education. Many generous donations from members of CAWG and the  California wine community fund the scholarship program. 

This year, three four-year $8,000 scholarships were awarded to students attending a University of  California or California State University campus, three two-year $2,000 scholarships were awarded to  students attending a California community college, and $1,000 was awarded to one student through the  Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship. 

Created by the family of Bob Miller, the Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship supports Central Coast  students who plan to pursue a career in the region’s winegrape industry and are studying viticulture or  enology at either Allan Hancock College or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Bob Miller was a California wine  industry leader who played a large part in establishing the Central Coast as a leading winegrape growing region. 

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

  • Naydin Beltran Garcia, Somerset, Union Mine High School 
  • Alexis Gonzalez, Kelseyville, Kelseyville High School 
  • Mallory Sutherland, Bakersfield, Frontier High School 

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

  • Emily Jimenez, Kelseyville, Kelseyville High School 
  • Melisa Magana, Lodi, Lodi High School 
  • Esmeralda Mendoza, Shandon, Shandon High School 

Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship / $1,000 

  • Makena Martin, Atascadero, Templeton High School



  • Naydin Beltran Garcia, Somerset, Union Mine High School – Naydin is an exceptional community leader with numerous honors and awards. She grew up watching  her parents work in the vineyards out of necessity, leaving her to care for her younger sibling. Her  proven resilience from a young age enabled her to balance financial, academic, familial, and  extracurricular responsibilities later in life, which she manages remarkably. Naydin has achieved a 4.0  GPA while balancing advanced coursework and AP classes as well as various extracurricular activities, including AVID, Hands4Hope, NHS, varsity tennis, Model UN, Mi Gente, Link Crew, and tutoring. She  plans to study philosophy at UCLA, UCSC, or USD to prepare her for law school. 
  • Alexis Gonzalez, Kelseyville, Kelseyville High School – Alexis Gonzalez is a passionate and dedicated student who plans on attending law school after receiving  his BA in psychology from UCLA or UCSD. He hopes to pursue a career in immigration and civil rights law  to uphold the rights of citizens in his community and battle discrimination. Alexis’s extracurricular  activities include the Lake County Symphony Association Youth Orchestra, K-CORPS, Environmental Club,  Rotary Interact Club, Student Body President, MSLI at CSU, debate, junior varsity football, tennis, and  tutoring. While embodying a life of volunteer service and dedication to his community, Alexis has also  displayed outstanding academic achievement by maintaining a 4.2 GPA with various advanced courses. 
  • Mallory Sutherland, Bakersfield, Frontier High School – Mallory is a goal-oriented student who pursues excellence at every opportunity. Mallory’s experiences  as a member and chapter president of the Future Farmers of America have inspired her to study Agricultural Business at CSU Fresno in the fall and open her own dental practice after college. During her  time with the FFA, she received various awards and accolades. She has already dedicated much of her  time to learning more about the agriculture industry through an internship with Sunview Vineyards and  the organization of the Elementary School Agriculture Advocacy After School Program, of which her  teacher states Mallory was a “cornerstone.” Mallory has also participated in the National Honors  Society, Spanish Honors Society, California Scholarship Foundation, Interact Club, MECHA, and Key Club,  in addition to over 60 hours dedicated to volunteer work, all while maintaining a 4.3 GPA with vigorous  coursework. 


  • Emily Jimenez, Kelseyville, Kelseyville High School  – As a first-generation college student, Emily Jimenez is passionate about education. She aspires to  become a primary school educator, and her kind, empathetic, and giving attitude will enable her success  in this field. In addition to playing varsity soccer, babysitting, volunteering at her local church and library,  and attending meetings for the environmental and interact clubs, Emily maintained a 4.0 GPA while  taking courses at her local college. Emily has demonstrated her leadership, determination, resilience,  and drive by succeeding despite many challenges in life, including financial difficulties, the pandemic,  and mental health struggles. She plans on attending Mendocino College in the fall.
  • Melisa Magana, Lodi, Lodi High School  – As the child of immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico, Melisa Magana is a first-generation college student and  ESL speaker who learned how to navigate the world at a young age. Before she was ten years old, Melisa  learned how to translate for her parents, who could not speak English. These experiences ultimately led to her goal of pursuing a career in criminal justice at San Joaquin Delta College. Her instructors describe  her as “kind and tenacious” with the “desire and ability to find common ground while standing strong in  what she believes in.” Melisa dedicates much of her time to volunteering while maintaining a 3.7 GPA,  excelling in various AP courses, and running cross country. 
  • Esmeralda Mendoza, Shandon, Shandon High School  – Esmeralda Mendoza is the daughter of immigrant parents who are proud to see her excel at school.  Although she admires her hardworking parents, she is hopeful that higher education will give her access  to a well-paying job that will provide her and her family with greater financial support. As a  compassionate leader, Esmerelda has proven her intelligence and dedication through academic success  amidst a busy schedule. Esmeralda is involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including  varsity volleyball, varsity basketball, softball, Future Farmers of America, of which she is vice president,  and the Associated Student Body, where she has served as class commissioner, treasurer, and president.  She has maintained a 3.7 GPA in addition to working in the vineyards on weekends and summers and  plans to attend Cuesta College. 


  • Makena Martin, Atascadero, Templeton High School – Makena Martin is a driven, motivated, and hardworking student who maintained a 4.0 GPA in addition  to playing varsity volleyball all four years of high school. She is a proven community leader who became  captain of her team, mentored first-year students, planned various student activities, and participated in  a variety of volunteer services. Makena has planned to attend Cal Poly ever since she learned it was her  mother’s alma mater. Her long-term goal is to become a director in winemaking, specializing in rosé wine after college. Speaking of the challenging transition to virtual learning, her teacher wrote, “Many  students found it difficult to maintain motivation, but that was not Makena. I believe Makena’s work  ethic will serve her well in college.” 

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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