SAN DIEGO – Seven local students were selected this week as recipients of the Brad Fowler Memorial Scholarship, a fund named in honor of the late son of San Diego Padres owner Ron Fowler.
The scholarship, named for Brad Fowler, who died in a 1997 car crash at age 31, annually provides funding for students demonstrating they’ve overcome unique obstacles and continued to succeed. Monte Vista senior Faith Hinkley and Mario Jacobs, a senior at El Cajon Valley, shared similar reactions after learning they were recipients of the scholarship.
“I started crying,” Hinkley said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is going to help me so much.’ It meant so much. I screamed and called my mom and she was at work and screaming, ‘Oh my God.'”
“I was screaming when I saw the email,” Jacobs said. “I was losing my mind. I was very excited. My dad said hard work pays off and he told me that as soon as I won, he said, ‘Hard work paid off, Mario.'”
Out of 90 applicants, seven were awarded the $5,000 scholarship. Other than Hinkley and Jacobs, they include:
- Azucena Avila, Montgomery High School;
- Leviticus Tharpe, Lincoln High School;
- Lluvia Tarnitza, West Hills High School;
- LT Shimp, La Jolla High School; and
- Derek Chastang, The Monarch School.
To be considered, student-athletes were asked to write an essay explaining how they’ve overcome obstacles associated with drugs and alcohol and other addictions.
“I like to say I’m not a victim because many people go through things on a daily basis but I didn’t grow up with my mom because of drugs and alcohol and that was real challenging for me,” Jacobs said. “Sadly, my friends were experiencing things with drugs and alcohol and I had some very traumatic experiences that I was that close to being there with them.”
“It was very stressful because I didn’t know how to start because I didn’t want to complain to them but I also didn’t want to be just like this happened so the process was getting help from many teachers,” Hinkley said.
Hinkley swam and played water polo while also carrying a 4.2 GPA. She’s chosen to study history at Salem University where she’s also earned a partial water polo scholarship.
“I love school,” she said. “I like learning. I take as many AP classes as I can. I took five this year even though it ended up being extremely stressful.”
In addition to serving as ASB president, Jacobs played football, baseball and basketball for the Braves. He’s heading to the University of Redlands where he plans to study political science and continue playing football.
“I’m looking forward to who I’m going to become,” he said. “I have some hopes for myself but I want to see where I’m going to be in a couple years because right now a lot of people say you don’t know where life’s going to take you and I’m really excited to see it because I’m going to put my heart out there and do my best.”