Maria was born in Sanger California where she lived for the first four years of her life. Her family returned to Mexico for nine years. At thirteen, her family moved permanently to San Pablo, California.
"Like everyone else, I came to this country with a lot of goals and dreams. I wanted to become a pediatrician. As a young child, I became involved in the UNICEF Foundation. There I used to take care of children who were sick and abandoned. That gave me a unique sense of fulfillment and purpose, and I continued with the goal of helping more people."
Maria is presently attending Contra Costa College. She is in her second semester and plans to soon transfer to a university. "Before I enter the pediatrics doctorate program, I would like to become a registered nurse specializing in pediatrics," says Maria. "In addition to attending college, I am working as a hospital volunteer."
Maria's parents were born in Michoacan, Mexico. Her father, Alfonso Tamayo, has been an American citizen for eight years. Alfonso came to California at age 21, and has lived longer in the United States than in Mexico. With the experience he gained from caring for the horses on his father's farm, he was given the opportunity to work at Old English Rancho with owner Buddy Johnston. His employment with Johnston continued for twenty-five years. He later became an assistant trainer for a Donald Warren, Lonnie Arterburn, and Gil Matos.
Jenny is attending Citrus College where she is focusing on an Associates Degree in Liberal Studies in order to assist in her later transfer to CSULA. There she hopes to become credentialed enabling her to teach children at the elementary education level.
"My father, Ignacio Vazquez, grew up in Mexico on a ranch with his parents and ten brothers and sisters. He helped maintain the growing crops and the animals they owned. There he learned to take care of horses and later learned to gallop them."
In 1971, a friend introduced Ignacio to racing at Mexico's "Hipodromo de las Americas." In December 1973, he won his first race as a jockey. It was an experience he would never forget, and an experience that has been a fulfilling part of his life. In the following years, Vazquez made his way to Tijuana and then the Southern California racing circuit as an exercise rider. He was worked for trainers Tommy Dole, Beau Greely, Alfredo Marquez, and recently, with Ted West. He has ridden horses such as FIVE STAR DAY, MANDAR, TAKARIAN, and TIZNOW.
Kathryn Frances P.
Kathryn is now enrolled in the University of California-San Diego, and working towards a double major in film and psychology. "After my first quarter, I have a 3.35 GPA. Classes have been challenging, but rewarding as well. Classes such as Art History of the 19th/20th century and metaphysical philosophy are just a small example of the new subjects I'm learning about."
Since enrolling at UCSD, Kathryn has joined several student organizations: Muir TV, the MQ, and Muir Movie. She says that, "Muir TV and Muir Movie is great preparation for my future career as a filmmaker. In the MQ, which is a satire newspaper, I hold a position as assistant design editor, and have not only learned new skills, but have met new friends as well. College has been a challenge so far, from learning to live with a stranger, to having more responsibility and control over my life, but it is a challenge that I enjoy."
Juan Miguel O.
Juan is currently attending Citrus College in Glendora, California. He is striving to earn an Associate's degree in computer technology, which he would like to utilize in a career within the thoroughbred horseracing industry. He is a part-time student, and continues to work as a groom from trainer Jerry Fanning.
"I am currently a second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley. Last semester, I declared my sociology major and am now getting into upper-division classes that allow me to focus on issues that I am really passionate about. These being gender and education issues. My plans also include finishing my anthropology minor and, hopefully, an education one as well. Since starting here, my career goals have not changed much. After graduating, I want to teach children for about five years. I simultaneously want to acquire a Ph.D. in Sociology so that I can teach at the university level. This will allow me to impact individuals like myself who want to change America's education system, but are confused as to how to go about this.
"I have taken a few steps in order to ensure that I will live out my career plans. Last semester, I applied for an internship position at a non-profit organization called Teach for America. It has now been six months since I started my program intern position, and I truly love it. The organization is dedicated to ensuring that every child in this nation has an equal opportunity to acquire an excellent education. Working there has given me an understanding of how non-profits work and it is also helping me grow as a person by preparing me for "the real working world."
Overall, Berkeley is providing me with experiences that are positively shaping my life. I want to add that I am very grateful for there being organizations such as the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation, which assists students to pursue their educational hopes and dreams."
Reed is currently attending Cal State University-Dominguez Hills. His primary goal is to become a high school teacher or college professor of Spanish language. It is his desire to carry his native language on to future generations.
"As a recipient of an Edwin J. Gregson Foundation scholarship grant last year, I was very honored and thankful. The grant financially softened the burden of my first year of college education for me and my family.
"I continue to major in sociology and criminology at Mount St. Mary's College, and will receive my Associate's Degree in May 2003. Thereafter, I will transfer to the Chalon campus in order to pursue my Bachelor's degree, and then Master's."
Our scholarship recipients would like our readers to know that they truly appreciate being selected to receive Edwin J. Gregson Foundation grants. They express their thanks for the assistance given to achieve higher education and the added opportunity to enhance their lives.
The Board of Directors of the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation and the California Thoroughbred Trainers applaud the efforts and accomplishments of all grant recipients. On behalf of these boards and many contributors to the scholarship fund, we proudly extend our best wishes and hopes that the recipients persevere and reach their intended goals.