2019 OPAWL Scholarship Recipient

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca is the very deserving recipient of our 2019 OPAWL SCC Scholarship.  This exceptional woman is a first generation college student from the UK.  As an adult re-entry student she arrived at SCC after a 17 year break in her education.  This determined and very involved woman has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the Honors Program. She also participated in Pathways to Teaching, Phi Theta Kappa, SCC TEACH!, and volunteered 500 hours at Linda Vista Elementary School.

Rebecca's SCC Professor references were lengthy accolades of her outstanding motivation and performance, while balancing a part-time job and raising two young children.  Her community involvement includes being a PTA Leader, Girl Scout and Cub Scout Leader, and volunteering at Coast-Keeper Garden, Fund Raisers, and the Butterfly Garden.

Rebecca is transferring with an Associate Degree to California State University, Fullerton this fall.  Her goal is to major in Psychology with a BA and a post graduate degree.  She has already passed the CBEST and is preparing for the MSTC to become an Elementary Teacher

written by: Rose Rock, OPAWL Scholarship Committee

A "thank you" letter from Rebecca Smith

I am genuinely thrilled to receive this generous $2,000 scholarship from such a well-respected local organization as OPAWL. I often see your events in the local paper, and I understand how much you value community and hard work. I am honored to be chosen in representation of these values. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

As I look forward to transferring to Cal State Fullerton in pursuit of my bachelor's degree in Psychology, this award will make a huge difference to our family by relieving some of the financial pressure that my attending college creates. Thank you for encouraging students at SCC to aim high, and for offering this scholarship to entry students like myself who face unique challenges. Juggling college and family commitments is tough, but it is encouraging to know that there are organizations like yours that see value in older students going back to school. I will always remember that you helped me on my journey, and so, when I'm able to, I will do my best to help the next generation on theirs.

Scholarship Criteria


  • GPA 3.8 or higher
  • next fall must be a continuing SCC student or transferring to a 4 yr college or university
  • must be enrolled the past fall at SCC carrying a minimum of 9 units and completed 30 units by end of Spring
  • must be outstanding in all academics
  • must submit 2 letters of recommendation from Teaching Faculty Professors at SCC
  • submit a 500 maximum word essay including goals and "What have you learned and accomplished or hope to learn or accomplish at SCC that will make a DIFFERENCE in yourself, in others and for society after you leave this college?"
  • this essay should not repeat the personal essay which may include personal characteristics, education and career goals, campus/community involvement and leadership experiences.

The importance of this scholarship is not based on financial need alone. Educational excellence and community service achievements give these women a great confidence in their abilities and provide an academic distinction as they pursue their future educational endeavors.

OPAWL Scholarship Committee is Rose Rock, Kathy Manulkin, Kay Alvarez, Jan Diaz

Past Recipient Winners


Olivia Leland


Linda Feregrino Arcos


Jennifer Lowe


Pagah Mahmoud


Rene Sauvageo


Laura Trejo