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Nine high school grads earn Manteca Federated scholarship awards
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Cindy Candelas, who just graduated from Manteca High, has her eyes set on a career in the arts.

Thanks to the Manteca Federated Women’s Club, she will be able to pursue her goal when she continues her studies at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton this fall. She is this year’s recipient of the Clarese Anderson Memorial Art Scholarship Award in honor of the Manteca Federated founder who, besides being a multi-talented artist, also co-founded the Manteca Camera Club with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and Manteca High graduate Kim Komenich.

Candelas is one of nine recent graduates from the four high schools in Manteca who were selected this year to receive the scholarships awarded annually by the service club. Manteca Federated Club president Marlene Figone said the Clarese Anderson memorial art scholarship was added just two years ago following the death of the club’s founder. The rest of the scholarships are academic-based awards given to two graduates of each high school in Manteca including Calla High. This year, the awards totaled nearly $5,000.

The other scholarship recipients and the college where they will start in the fall are:

•Coleen Reynoso of Siera High School, California State University – San Diego;

•Mary Fishburn of Sierra High, Modesto Junior College;

•Marena Habibi of Manteca High, University of California at Davis;

•Alexis Fernandez of Manteca High, UC Davis;

•Rachel Hippis of East Union High School, Liberty College in Virginia;

•Frances Telles of East Union, California State University at Sonoma;

•Melinda Moore of Calla High, Heald College; and,

•Balmore Hernandez of Calla High, San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.

“We are really thrilled with the students selected by our scholarship this year,” Figone said.

She said the club members were all impressed with the accomplishments shared by the scholarship recipients during the annual awards luncheon held at the Prestige Senior Living in Manteca where the group meets every month.

“We asked if they would tell us a little bit about themselves and some of their accomplishments. Some of them were quite shy about their accomplishments, but they were very gracious and very enthusiastic,” Figone said.

“It’s not a whole bunch of money,” she said of the $500 given to each graduate, “but we’re trying to keep our scholarship project because education is an important part of our purpose in the community, along with our charitable contributions.”

Money given away as scholarships every year come from the club’s annual luncheon Spring Fling which, this year, was in the form of a family lunch at the Manteca Senior Center. For the first time, that fund-raiser also had other service clubs such as the Soroptimist International of Manteca taking part in the fund-raising event by creating some of the theme tables featured in the luncheon.

The nearly 50 active Federated Women members meet every third Wednesday of the month at noon in the upstairs Ruby Room of Prestige Senior Living located at 1130 Empire Avenue just off East Louise Avenue in Manteca. Proving the meal at the luncheon meeting is resident chef at Prestige Living. Meetings are open to prospective members. For more information about the club and how to join, call Marlene Figone at (209) 612-3856.