Conderlario Lopez works at National Youth Leadership Forum

Half Moon Bay High School senior Candelario Lopez works at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine Camp at University of California, Berkeley, in 2019. He was able to attend the program with a scholarship from CEF, which it awarded this year to Natalie Inglis. Photo courtesy Candelario Lopez

Cabrillo Education Foundation is set to award a record 64 scholarships to graduating seniors from Half Moon Bay and Pescadero high schools this year as part of its Coastside Futures initiative.

CEF Executive Director Corinne Bucher said the $500 grants, which go to graduates who qualify based on their family income who are planning to attend a two- or four-year college, are for school-related expenses outside of tuition. They cover expenses such as books or technology.

“It’s intended for anything that will help them be more present in their education,” Bucher said.

Many winning students in the past have attended nearby colleges like Cañada, Skyline and College of San Mateo and used the money for transportation, school supplies and books, Bucher said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and canceled fundraising events, Bucher said money for this year’s graduates has always been secure and made possible through partnerships with the College Futures Foundation, a Bay Area education group, and Tri Counties Bank.

This year, CEF was also able to sponsor a student to attend a National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine for one week over the summer. It awarded the same grant to a Half Moon Bay High School student in 2019.

Half Moon Bay High School junior Natalie Inglis said she was inspired to attend the forum after senior Candelario Lopez, who received a sponsorship from CEF in 2019, came to speak about his experience.

Inglis will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles, forum this summer with the help of a $2,000 grant from CEF.

“I think it’s going to be really amazing,” Inglis said. “I’ve been interested in medicine and science in general for a while. Especially after my freshman year biology class, I wanted to do something in that field.”

Inglis said she’s most looking forward to learning from professionals in the field and participating in hands-on activities to find out what areas of medicine most interest her. So far, she’s considering human biology and psychology as potential fields of study, but wants to keep her eyes open for new opportunities.

“I'm just really looking to see what's out there,” Inglis said.

For Lopez, the 2019 forum pushed him to dream big for his college and career choices. He says it gave him insight into the various medical fields and the paths available to get to them and access to role model professors and doctors already in the field.

He’s now headed to University of California, Berkeley, as a public health major with plans to pursue medical school later on in the hopes of becoming a pediatrician. After the forum, Lopez said, his college applications were a no-brainer.

“Before the program I was looking to the medical field as a career for myself,” Lopez said. “That boosted me, helped me with a sign that this is what I want to do, what I'm interested in and what I want to study.”

Inglis, still a junior, is just starting the journey of planning her future. She hopes staying in the dorms at UCLA this summer will give her some insight into what she’s looking for, thanks to her teacher Ms. Baker and CEF who helped her secure the $2,000 scholarship to cover around half of program costs.

“I had no idea there was going to be that much,” Inglis said. “It was just so great and so generous.” r

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