National Gates Scholarships Awarded to Santa Maria Club Members

The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective national program that recognizes minority high school seniors who have excelled both academically and in leadership through participation in extracurricular activities and community service.  This year’s cohort of 300 Scholars were selected from a national pool of over 56,000 applicants!

Scholars will receive funding for the full cost of attendance at a 4-year university.  Both Alexis Vargas and Alejandro Palacios are members of our Railroad Club’s  Keystone Club and our Stollmeyer STEAM Challenge.   They both will be graduating from Santa Maria High this year.  

Alexis has committed to Cal Poly, SLO majoring in Computer Engineering. Alejandro is majoring in mechanical engineering and is deciding between Cal Poly SLO and UC Berkeley.  

Alejandro says of his Club experience, “Growing up I have always been quite reclusive, and I desperately needed to come out of my shell. If it were not for the work I have done in the Boys and Girls club and other organizations, I would have never gotten the connections I have now. Without these links to other peers and successful adults I would have been lost to some great opportunities that await teens like me. I will never forget the inclusive atmosphere created by the Boys and Girls Club and how that inspired me to be a better version of my self for years to come.”  Likewise, Alexis shares, “The Boys & Girls Club has helped me greatly in my leadership skills and my involvement in the community. The Gates Scholarship is very selective and looks for students who are involved in leadership along with helping impact the community which The Club has helped me achieve with the resources they provide like events to help the community and having my advisors there to help me out when I am struggling.  I thank the Boys and Girls Club so much.”

Alejandro Palacios
Alexis Vargas