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Service club helps students with college
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Sharon Cunial presents the Soroptimister award to former Mayor Willie Weatherford for his support of the club over the years. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Manteca Soroptimists are again helping send high school seniors to college with thousands of dollars in scholarships.
The scholarship presentation was part of an awards program the service club staged Tuesday at the Manteca Senior Center.
In addition to the scholarships a “Live Your Dream Award” was presented to Heather Graham who turned her life around and got into college to learn new skills.
Longtime Manteca resident and former mayor and police chief Willie Weatherford was presented the lifetime Soroptimister Award for his more than 20 years of dedication to the women’s service club.
The coveted Betty Bergthold Memorial Award for $2,000 went to Manteca High’s Makayla Dodd. The scholarship has been presented since Bergthold’s passing with her family sending a check to the Soroptimist Club each and every year.  It was her daughter Debbie who had the idea of creating a scholarship in the name of her mother. 
Six high school seniors were presented with $1,000 checks to assist with the costs of their college education. The club has presented more than $100,000 to students since it was formed some 50 years ago.
The 2016 recipients include Jagveer “Jag” Singh from Manteca High with a 4.4 grade point average. Next came Danika Hunt of Manteca High followed by Lisa Thongmanivong, Lathrop High School and Elizabeth Morowit from Sierra High.  McKenna Doyle also represented Sierra High School. Arcel Dimaano was the scholarship choice from Weston Ranch High School.
Soroptimist members presented each student at the awards event separately and told of their accomplishments during their high school years and where they planned on going to college.
Jag Singh from East Union High told the audience he hopes to attend a university such as Stanford to gain his education in becoming a cardiac surgeon.
Danika Hunt “has been busy holding down several jobs at a time,” her presenter Nancy Myatt told those in attendance. She was described as one of the most “well rounded” students maintaining a 4.3 GPA at Manteca High.
Lathrop High’s Lisa Thongmanivong took a list of heavy classes during her four high school years. Those included Calculus, Chemistry, Honors English and Biology and volunteered at Give Every Child a Chance tutoring program.  Lisa earned the Outstanding Achievement in Science Award and an AP Scholar Award with the last four years on the honor roll.
Sierra High’s Elisabeth Morowit hopes to pursue a degree in education because she is passionate about working with children and become a “conscientious, competent and caring teacher.” She is planning to get a Master’s Degree in Education.
McKenna Doyle is a senior at Sierra High with a ranking of 27th out of 301 students.  She plans to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo reaching for a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture to secure a position in the wine industry.  She lives with her mother Debbie Doyle who she credits with much of her success.
Arcel Dimaano is a senior at Weston Ranch. Arcel is focused on becoming a physical therapist as a way to help others. He has been a volunteer at the Stockton soup kitchen and spent four years in leadership with the Weston Ranch JROTC. He is a member of the California  Scholarship Federation and his school’s Key Club.