Bishop Sunrise Rotary Award Eight Scholarships to BUHS Grads

The Bishop Sunrise Rotary Club has this week awarded eight scholarships totaling $20,000 to local graduating Bishop Union High School (BUHS) seniors who will be attending college or trade school this fall. Since 2004, the Sunrise Rotary Club has given scholarships totaling over $400,000 to some 326 Inyo County high school graduates, helping these local students afford to continue their education at a variety of schools, colleges and universities. The annual scholarship program is one of the club’s ongoing efforts to benefit and support our local community.

As in the past, this year’s scholarship applications were reviewed by a committee of Sunrise Rotary Club members, chaired by former club president and long-time member, Phil McDowell. Applications were considered based on a number of factors including academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, community service, and the student’s demonstrated passion for their chosen field of study or training. Almost all applications the club received this year were from BUHS seniors and all awardees are 2020 BUHS graduates.

As Scholarship Committee Chair Phil McDowell noted, “We were very impressed with this year’s applicants. It was gratifying to read the student’s applications and to see how so many of them, in these difficult times, have risen to the challenge and taken it as an opportunity to reflect on how they can continue their education and make a positive difference in the world.”

The Bishop Sunrise Rotary Scholarship Awardees for this year are:

Cristofer Ruiz-Sandoval – $10,000

Emily Batcheller – $2,000

Sirena Lopez – $2,000

Taylor McCormick – $2,000

Justin Brooks – $1,000

Owen Griffiths – $1,000

Scott Hennarty – $1,000

Cora Lanphear – $1,000

The current situation did require some alterations in the club’s usual scholarship practices, however. In years past, one or more members of the Sunrise Rotary Club would have made these awards in person to each student at their own high school’s awards night ceremonies. This year, however, the club mailed award letters to each student offering the “hardiest of congratulations from the entire Bishop Sunrise Rotary Club” and the “best of luck this next year as you pursue your chosen career.”

Sunrise Rotary Club President Erik Leitch said, “Our Club has always been proud of the quality and the aspirations of Bishop’s youth. This year we are especially proud to offer scholarships to these eight students, who exemplify Rotary’s vision of personal growth, leadership and service to the community. We seek to enrich our community through investment in our youth, through scholarships to our high school seniors, our foreign exchange program for high school students, and through Rotary global grants for post-graduate education. Our long history of service includes projects to help feed and house people who are in need, programs to enrich and beautify our community, and international projects to provide critical medical training and care abroad. In this moment of historic need, we are expanding our efforts to support the community as it responds to the challenges of COVID-19.”

The Bishop Sunrise Rotary Club continues to meet weekly and now gathers remotely – online and by phone – every Wednesday morning at 7:30 AM. Guests are always welcome. Anyone interested in attending a meeting, learning more about the Sunrise Rotary Club, or taking part in our community support projects can contact bishopsunriserotary@gmail.com.