Last month we took a look at the process that led to the selection of ten students to add to the Desert Palms scholarship program, and the profile of five.  This month we will profile the other five.  All will begin their work towards a two year Associates Degree at community colleges in Arizona in August.  This program is funded by distributions from our permanent endowment of $633,000 that is invested in the US stock market.   Contributions received from the congregation and groups within the church supplement these distributions to provide the total used to support these students.  In 2016 over $47,000 was spent on tuition and books for those in the program.  That is the cost of education for these young people as they take the courses needed to get them started on the path to the degree that supports their career goals.  If you are interested in creating a named scholarship in honor of yourself or a loved one, please talk to a member of the committee.


Olivia Bryant

Olivia is a Valley Vista High School graduate. Olivia will take all of her prerequisite courses at Glendale Community College and then her technical courses at Huntington University as she works towards a degree in broadcasting and film production. She has done media production for her church.


Carlos Carrasco

Carlos is a Dysart High School graduate. Carlos will work towards becoming a computer programmer at Estrella Mountain Community College. His goal is to work for a large company in computer systems.


Tania Lopez Zermao

Tania is a Dysart High School graduate. Tania plans to major in criminal justice, starting at Estrella Mountain Community College. She works as a server at Sierra Winds where she has met many of the Desert Palms members who live there


Rebecca Matadamas

Rebecca is a Peoria High School graduate. Rebecca recently qualified as a Presidential Scholar.  Desert Palms will supplement her paid tuition with books.  Rebecca will pursue an education that will support her desire to work as a geneticist.


Victoria Ramirez

Victoria is a Willow Canyon High School graduate. Victoria is the second in her family to be a part of our program, joining her brother, Marcus, who received his degree this year.  Victoria’s goal is to become a physical therapist.



Scholarship Students Honored


Martin Aguero  sarah Triggs  Keon Roth  Alyssa Sanders  Elisandra Leyva

(L-R: Aguero, Triggs, Roth, Sanders, Leyva)


Five graduates of the high school class of 2016 were honored at a pizza party at the church recently as Desert Palms Scholarship Program granted them scholarships to local community colleges.

The five students, Martin Aguero from Peoria High School, Sarah Triggs from Valley Vista High School in Surprise, Keon Roth, Alyssia Sanders and Elisandra Leyva all from Willow Canyon High School in Surprise, along with their families, were the featured guests. Each has been assigned a mentor who will work with them as they pursue their college educations.

Ben Crelin gave the graduates some insight to his personal situation and how scholarships have assisted his dream, which currently places him in Seminary in the Boston area. David Lind, son of Desert Palms member Bob Lind, flew in from Dallas for the event. He and his wife Miranda head a family charitable foundation that provides funds to pay for two students. In his talk he stressed how important education was to his mother Marie, who has been honored by his foundation with a named scholarship. After the dinner David indicated how pleased he was to meet the students and hear directly from them about their dreams for their careers.

Also in attendance were two members of the high school graduating class of 2008 who went in different directions. Alyssa Aguero, older sister of Martin, received her associate degree, completed her bachelors in nursing and is employed as a register nurse. Fabiola Hernandez took eight years to complete her associate’s degree in criminal justice, usually taking a single course as her life required attention to her daughter born early in her schooling and her job that she needed to support herself and her daughter. She was driven by the desire to show her mentor, Lore Van Brocklin, that she was capable of the commitment to complete that degree despite dropping out of our program and despite the obstacles that life presented. Her perseverance was rewarded.

We will have four students completing their degree requirements in May or the end of the summer session. They are My Dinh, Gina Quinones, Daijah Adolph and Cierra Mariano. Cierra has received a full scholarship to ASU for the remaining two years of requirements for a bachelor’s degree, while the others are applying for other scholarships or working on funding plans. Our congratulations go to all four.

Our Scholarship program is vibrant and provides support to fifteen young people.

If you would like to get involved as a mentor, like Bev Jacobs and Bob Hampel have for the new students, or create a named scholarship to honor yourself or a loved one, please see a member of the committee.


Last Published: July 21, 2017 5:24 PM
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