We give annual scholarships to graduating seniors who have been accepted to college. Our focus is on students who are the first in their families to attend college and/or those who are English language learners.
Specifically, we have two scholarship funds named for individuals who exemplify our mission: Gail Randolph and Juanita Varela Childs. These scholarships go to students who have faced adversity, come from very low-income families, and/or require financial help for college.
Gail Randolph Scholarship
Gail Randolph was a retired teacher who taught second through eighth grades for nearly forty years. She graduated from San Jose State University in 1962 with a degree in Elementary Education, an Elementary Science minor, and a Lifetime Elementary Teaching Credential. In 1993 she earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She was known for working with people facing difficulties and encouraging them to find their own strengths and gifts for the world. For this scholarship, we partner with high schools that offer an individualized learning approach and successful viable alternative for students whose needs have not been met in the traditional high school setting. Ms. Randolph passed away June 2022.
Testimonial from Recipient Zochil
“Coming to Alta Vista was rehabilitative for me; it was a fresh start. Ever since elementary school, I have wanted to become a doctor, and this goal has been reinforced each passing year. I always looked forward to science classes such as chemistry, biology, and physics because while everything else in my life was chaotic, the sciences were always stable and consistent. My interest is science helped me get through some of the toughest times in my life. It is for this reason that I want a career in the sciences or technology. Thank you for helping me.”
Juanita Varela Childs Scholarship
This scholarship is in memory of Juanita Varela Childs, a Spanish teacher at Carbon High School in Price, Utah. Carbon High serves a highly diverse population of rural students, many whose families immigrated to work the local coal mines in the 1880s. Over a career of 13 years, Juanita became known as the heartbeat of Carbon High.
Born in Mexico, she moved to Los Angeles with her father and four younger brothers after her mother left them. Her father earned $600 a month working as a custodian at UCLA. It was there she met her adoptive mother, Marilyn Winkleby, an epidemiologist, who later established this scholarship.
Juanita graduated from BYU in April 1992, with a major in Spanish Teaching and a minor in ESL. In 1993, Juanita married Kimball Childs; their son Mason was born four years later. Tragically, Juanita died in a car accident with her husband and son on December 11, 2005. Since 2006, we have awarded numerous scholarships a year in Juanita’s name to graduating seniors from Carbon High School and students from isolated rural communities.
Excerpts from Juanita Scholarship applications
“I moved to Price when I was 10 years old. Then I missed my 8th grade because I was in Primary Children’s Hospital with bone cancer. My father was laid off from the mines and gets odd jobs. My mother is ill but she makes and sells tamales. I plan on becoming a Spanish immersion teacher.”
This young woman maintained straight As her senior year while working 15 hours a week. Both of her parents had less than a high school education. A note from her teacher stated that she was the hardest-working student they’d met in 39 years of teaching.
“My passion has undoubtedly always been in graphic arts. I will be the first generation in my family to graduate from high school and then attend college. I want to increase my knowledge and set goals and have a career. I want to show my parents I can push myself to attend school until the finish line. A scholarship will help me do this!”
This young man had strong grades, was a student body officer, and was editor of the school yearbook—all while working 25 hours a week. He lived with his parents and five younger siblings; he cared for his siblings and supervised their homework as his parents were gone frequently for several weeks at a time on trucking jobs to Texas.
“My father works at the steel plant and I work half time to help pay the gigantic hospital bill from my sister’s uninsured accident. Debate has changed my life and improved my confidence and work ethic. I won a trophy in the State competition. I love to learn and want to attend college and major in business.”