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Manteca Soroptimists award $12,000 in scholarships
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The $2,000 Betty Bergthold Award winner was Emily Cunial with her scholarship presented by Soroptimist members Arlene Sevor and Sharon Cunial. Also shown is Manteca Councilman Mike Morowit. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin

Manteca Soroptimist Club awarded $12,000 in scholarships to a dozen high school students to further their education.
The scholarships  were presented during an Awards Night at the Manteca Senior Center conducted on Thursday.
A special recognition “Live Your Dream Award” was presented to Gissele Sosa by Soroptimist member Leslie Trueb. The award assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and better their employment prospects.
Surayya Sakhi of Manteca High received the Dr. Robert Browne Health Services award of $1,000. It is something that the Stockton physician presents a Manteca senior every year – remembering a scholarship he received as a high school graduate that helped him reach his education goals 60 years ago when $1,000 was worth much more than it is today. He presented his scholarship in memory of his late mother – a former president of the Stockton Soroptimist Club.
Surayya lives with her mother as her father resides overseas where he has worked as a translator and an interpreter since 2000.  She is the oldest of six children and feels she must be a strong role model for her five siblings aged five to 13 and carries a 4.2 grade point average while being involved in activities at MHS along with a lead role in caring for her family.
She plans to major in Biological Science and her dream is to become a medical doctor.  She received a glowing recommendation from a teacher saying, “She is an outstanding and hard-working student and always very active.” She is a member of the National Honors Society and the California Scholarship Federation as well as the College Prep Club. 
Surayya was quoted as saying, “Life can change at any moment and I know I’m prepared for any challenge that I may have to face.”
The $2,000 Betty Bergthold Memorial Scholarship went to Emily Cunial of Sierra High School.
Emily has a weighted 4.46 GPA and currently ranks third in her class of some 300 students.  She has taken advanced placement classes in English, History, Physics and Biology.  She has been lauded for her extensive amount of community service along with being involved in three varsity sports along with leadership in the Associated Student Body and various campus clubs.
 Presently, she is Student Body President.  Emily has earned nearly every academic, athletic and community service award offered for high school students.
Liliana Lomeli of Weston Ranch High School also received a $1,000 award toward her future education as did Melissa Sifuentes Andrade of Lathrop High.
Jenna Rosendin of Sierra High School had a list of achievements that were said to be “truly amazing.”  She is a CIF Scholar in both soccer and track and served on the school cheer team for three years.  She was involved in leadership and is the student body president this year and has served as class president and Manteca Unified student board member.  She also a member of the California Scholarship Federation and the National Honors Society.  Chosen as her career goal is to become a family and child phycologist as a means of helping others.
Four other Manteca High seniors were given scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each.  They were Rauneet Kaur Dhillon, Sarah Inderbitzen, Chandler Cheyenne Nieman and Taylor Ann Reed.
Rauneet Dhillon was selected for her scholarship from Manteca High School and currently has a 4.15 GPA.  Many of her teachers agree that she has a refreshing outlook for learning and always strives to do her best at anything she sets out to accomplish. She plans to attend a university where she will strive to for a degree in Biology and minor in match and hopes to become a doctor.
Sarah Inderbitzen has developed a passion for Art.  From a young age she knew she was meant to be an artist, always sketching pictures of nature and people.  She has achieved a 4.3 GPA and says she has taken AP classes just to challenger herself.  She served as class president for three years and her dream is to earn an Art degree and to teach others how to express themselves through Art.  She has also competed in both volleyball and basketball all four years.  She hopes to become a high school teacher or college professor.
Chandler Nieman will use her scholarship at U.C. Davis in the Fall with her long-term goal to become and orthopedic surgeon.  She credits her volunteer experiences at Doctors Hospital for having a big influence on wanting to become a surgeon.  She, too, is a member of the California Scholarship Federation as well as the hiking and basketball clubs.  Chandler also volunteers at her church in addition to Doctors Hospital.
Taylor Reed is also about to graduate from Manteca High with a long-term goal of going into genetic counseling.  She has been described as intelligent, enthusiastic, genuine, compassionate and moral.  She has proven herself as a leader of her class and has been class secretary in both her freshman and sophomore years.  She is also a member of the National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation and involved in the Medical Pathway.  Awards she has garnered include Most Outstanding Leader, AP Scholar, Most Organized Leader, Most Productive leader and the Teachers’ Choice Recipient.      
East Union High School’s Julia Foxworth was presented with a $1,000 scholarship award as well.  Julia’s mother Rebecca received the identical scholarship award from the Tracy Soroptimist Club in 1985 for her academic achievements similar to that of her daughter Julia.
Two $500 scholarships went to Calla High School students Lilliana Covarrubias and Marina Marron.
Lilliana Covarrubias is from Calla High School and is applying to Delta College to pursue a degree in Nursing.  She says that she has a deep-rooted passion to help others after facing many hurdles in her young life that teachers say might cause a less resilient person surrender to their pressures.  Lilliana has set her sights on helping others and embracing those who are struggling.
Marina Marron will be graduating from Calla High next month. She was not able to attend the Awards Night Thursday but said she is very grateful for the scholarship and plans to attend Delta College to study Interior Design.
She has overcome many difficulties, according to her high school counselor, but she always works hard to follow through with whatever is needed to be accomplished for herself and at the same time is a trustworthy young woman.
“Her inner sense of responsibility and duty propel her to seek out ways to grow and to learn while becoming a true asset in helping others,” her counsellor said.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email