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Turlock Garden Club awarded eight $1,000 Scholarships this year. These recipients have been announced at their respective awards ceremonies.


Congratulations to all 2024 recipients!

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Alexis Dias w Alison Pat.jpeg

Left and right:  Turlock Garden Club

Scholarship Committee Chairs

Cyndi Sims and Pat Weisel

Center: 2024 Scholarship recipient

Pedro Enrique Lopez

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Larynne M. Holland

Attends CSU Fresno and is majoring in Agricultural Education. She would like to teach at the high school level after completing her degree. She plans to graduate next May and then begin the teaching credential program. She is working as a student assistant to graduate students in the plant science division. Her research projects involve pistachios and oranges. She graduated from Hilmar HS where she was very involved with FFA. She then attended MJC for two years and continues to achieve a high GPA at CSU Fresno.

McKayla Aiken

McKayla is finishing her first year of college at UC Davis, where she is majoring in International Agricultural Development, with plans to specialize in Economic Development and Ag Production.She would like to travel overseas after graduation and educate others on sustainable agriculture techniques in developing communities. She maintained a 4.00 GPA Fall quarter. She was able to work PT seasonally at a Christmas tree farm near UC Davis where she was able to transfer the skills that she had acquired working on her grandparents’ Christmas tree farm.

Cadence DeCoite

Cadence will be graduating this Spring from MJC with a double major in Agriculture Science and Animal Science. She will be transferring to CSU Fresno in the Fall. She would like to be an Agriculture teacher at the high school level. She has held a PT job as a file clerk for the last four years. Cadence was involved in FFA in high school and also was an ambassador to a Japanese city in the City of Tracy Sister City Program. She traveled to Tracy’s sister city to learn about Japanese culture and agriculture.

Pedro Enrique Lopez

Enrique is graduating from Oakdale High School, and will be attending Cal Poly in the Fall. Enrique attended Julien Elementary School in Turlock after his family moved to the United States from Mexico. He will be studying Ag Business at Cal Poly with a goal of moving back to the Central Valley to open an ag service company to provide farmers with custom harvesting and spraying. He would also like to have his own ranch.

Enrique is very involved in the Oakdale FFA chapter, serving as president of his chapter.  He’s attended the National FFA Convention and a Livestock Judging camp in Oklahoma. He has earned his California State FFA degree and is on track to earn the American FFA degree next year. He intends to stay involved in the ag department during college, advocating for the industry.

Gianna Gonzalez

Gianna is graduating from Hilmar HS, and plans to attend CSU Chico in the Fall. Her major will be Agriculture Business, with a minor in Agriculture Communications. Her family is very active in agriculture, with her grandparents owning a dairy farm, and both her parents working in Ag related businesses. Gianna started getting involved in FFA public speaking events and then served as FFA Treasurer, Vice-President and Chapter President. She has attended FFA conferences at the state and national level and many leadership conferences.

She received the Seal of Biliteracy and attained the Superintendent’s Honor roll for a GPA of 4.00 or higher all four years of high school. Gianna is very involved in serving her community and enjoys leading Vacation Bible School at her church. Gianna’s reference wrote, “she has a drive that pushes her above others when it comes to academics, leadership, agricultural and community passion”.

Alexis Dias

Alexis is graduating from Turlock High School and plans to attend CSU Fresno in the Fall. She would like to study Viticulture and Enology, with a career goal of working in the winemaking industry in small winery management. She discovered her passion for this industry by studying vine pruning in high school. She also has pursued public speaking, which will help her have a strong voice in the agriculture industry.

Alexis has been very involved in FFA, serving two terms as Chapter President and as a Chapter Reporter. She was able to attend FFA conferences at the State and National levels and was selected to attend the Leadership experience in Sacramento. She has exhibited animals at the county fair and has judged floral and vine pruning. Through FFA, Alexis has learned public speaking skills, problem solving, and accepting responsibility that will make her stand out in a crowd.

Lauren Clark

Lauren is graduating from Hughson High School and plans to attend Modesto Junior College in the Fall.  She then plans to transfer to a four year university to earn her bachelor’s degree in Ag Business, with a minor in Plant Science. Lauren has been dual enrolled at MJC and has already completed 19 credits. Her deep involvement in FFA and working with her family as a Beekeeper has taught her that the Ag industry is where she belongs. Her career goal is to work as an Ag Sales Representative for a nursery where she can utilize her extensive knowledge of plants and continue her love of agriculture. Lauren has held many positions at the Stanislaus County Fair. This past summer she earned a management position where she was able to hire employees, train them, set up work schedules, and keep records.

At Hughson HS, Lauren has been involved in Varsity Volleyball, Softball, and Basketball - all while maintaining a 4.00 GPA. She is very involved in her community and donates her time to many programs such as Breast Cancer Awareness Runs, the nursery at her church, canned food drives, etc.

Lillian Agueda

Lillian is graduating from Hughson High School and plans to attend Modesto Junior College to earn her Associate Degree in Agriculture Education.  She then plans to transfer to a four year university. Her goal is to educate the younger generations about the importance of the agriculture industry.
She has been very involved in her high school, while still maintaining a high GPA. Besides FFA, she is involved in cheer (cheer captain), tennis, CSF, and Life of a Husky.

Lillian would like to be a Floral Design Advisor and serve as an advisor for the FFA Garden Club when she becomes an educator. She discovered Floral Design at HHS and loved working with the different types of flowers while working in the greenhouse. She works in the Hughson FFA garden in the summer. 

Left to right:  2024 Scholarship recipient

Alexis Dias with TGC member Alison Aldax

and TGC Scholarship Chair Pat Weisel

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McKayla Aiken

This brilliant young lady plans to attend U.C. Davis and is interested in taking skills she learned in our Valley to South America and Africa, through non-profit organizations.  McKayla would like to be able to implement her crop management skills.  Her dream is to someday have a Christmas tree farm, skills she also learned in her grandparents’ tree farm.  McKayla’s passion is sustainability in our cultivation.  She also has an outstanding record working with children through her church projects.  McKayla shined as a public speaker and with her leadership skills.  A True Gem!

Larynne Marie Holland 

This impressive college student wants to teach young people how to take care of our Valley.  Larynne wants to emphasize the need for appreciation of the “farm to plate” process of growing food.  Larynne also spear-headed a project at MJC which analyzed and succeeded in growing poinsettias of high quality.  The concern for the Valley and its well-being is shown in her volunteer work and dedication to many community activities.  Our former Hilmar High School graduate works almost full time and takes a full load at Modesto Junior College.  And now it’s graduation time and off to Fresno State!  Congratulations and Well Done, Larynne!


Roberto Lopez 

Roberto is a perfect example of why we have hope in the youth of today.  Son of Mexican immigrant parents, he learned the value of dedication, hard work, and the focus on the American Dream.  Roberto is an accomplished student, having learned English as a hard worker in our own Cyndi Sims’ classroom at Julien Elementary School.   He grew up in an environment of almond cultivation, horticulture, and FFA success.  He showed his leadership skills when he became FFA President.  Roberto is graduating from Oakdale High School and wants to go to MJC and then to Fresno State or Cal. Poly to study the effects of pesticides and other chemicals on our beloved Valley.  Way To Go, Roberto!

Amelia Bettencourt

Amelia grew up as a winner, a result of her hard work.  She was Sectional President for the ten local FFA chapters.  Amelia practiced teamwork as she collaborated at FFA Leadership Camp.  Along with her course work at Turlock High School, she had summer studies at Modesto City College for agriculture and the environment among other subjects.  Amelia’s development has been well-rounded, including volunteering to feed the needy at a local shelter.  She plans to attend either Cal Poly or UC Davis.  And once that degree work is completed, Amelia says

“…I plan to begin my career as a marketing analyst for an agricultural company.  More specifically, I am interested in being involved in the marketing of the food industry.  This interest stems from work done in high school involving agriculture’s role in food production, such as vegetable cultivation.  I am also pursuing this career field because of my natural math abilities and love for critical thinking.”  It is very rewarding that our club supports such a well-focused, dedicated student.

Elizabeth Boone

Elizabeth will be attending MJC to eventually become a florist and use her training in Agricultural Business.  She’ll be well-prepared for college due to her experience in her FFA chapter, where she judged vegetable crops, attended leadership conferences, and learned about cooperative marketing skills.  Elizabeth plans to continue to a four-year college and then pursue a Master’s in Ag Business.  “My career goal is to have the skills and knowledge to open my own business in the floral industry.  …when I joined Turlock High School’s ‘History and Art of Floral Design’ class, I really fell in love … with making floral arrangements, and just being able to work with flowers.”  Good luck, Elizabeth. You’re well on your way!

Jon Chapman

John grew up working in his folks’ dairy farm and also in the almond orchard.  Jon has a passion for creating and fixing things, as he explains, and has learned about leadership through the FFA.  He plans to attend Merced College and then Oklahoma State University.  The end result, Jon hopes, is to major in Agriculture Systems Management, with a minor in Agriculture Business.  Our Valley sure produces tough, hard-working young people!

Noah Fernandes

Noah plans to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to major in Agricultural Systems Management.  In high school, he took pride in studying “…two different pathways, including Agricultural Mechanics and Agriscience,” wrote Noah.  He enjoyed Ag Business Leadership and Floral Art as well.  He worked in an almond orchard and tackled all sorts of issues regarding responsibility and tenacity.  A true example of the best of Turlock High School!

Logan Ladd

Logan wants to study STEM Agriculture at UC Berkeley.  He was “…baptized in the California dream and the heart of Ag production in the American West.”  Logan learned all sorts of skills on his grandfather’s farm and walnut groves.  He is bilingual in Spanish and excelled in FFA competitions, design, and construction.  Awarded first prize in the California State Fair as best in show, “…I decided that I wanted to not only design and develop products that help advance agricultural production and efficiency, but also create a sustainable future for the industry.  I want to do work that helps framers like my father and grandfather but doesn’t harm this beautiful valley and country in which we thrive.”  We have a beautiful future with students of this caliber!

Vicente Sanchez

Vicente plans to attend Fresno State University, after MJC.  He wants to be an Ag teacher.  His life of hard work on a horse ranch led him to say “Over the years I have learned many things, not just how to work but life lessons as well.  I have learned that nothing is just given to you and working hard is the key to being successful.”  Vicente enjoys rope braiding, hiking, and fishing.  His tenacity and dedication were portrayed in his work for Chatom 4H, where he showed meat goats. He feels great affinity to ranching, Ag Business, and teaching.  Our Turlock Garden Club is thrilled to support young people such as Vicente!

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