The Rodney Fernandez Leadership Fund, created in 2011, honors Rodney Fernandez, Cabrillo’s founder and Executive Director for 30 years (1981–2011). The Scholarship continues Fernandez’s legacy of community building by cultivating the leadership of residents to attain their goals, empower themselves through education and to take action to improve the quality of life in their communities.
The scholarship program is supported by an Edison International grant for students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors, as well as MUFG Union Bank and individual donations for all majors.
Margarita H. de Escontrias, Cabrillo’s CEO, said this grant allows Cabrillo to provide STEM scholarships for underrepresented groups and lift financial barriers for those with aspirations for careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
“Funding from Edison International and MUFG Union Bank enables Cabrillo to provide scholarships to motivated and talented students, many from immigrant families who are first-generation college students. These grants will help youth in our community to reach their educational and leadership potential. They will help diversify our workforce in these fields and benefit our community,” she said.
“Each year, members of our scholarship review panel are deeply touched by the applications and appreciate the applicants’ willingness to share their experiences and struggles as well as their triumphs,” said H. de Escontrias.