Avenal State Prison Warden James Hartley presented two deserving Avenal High School graduating seniors with scholarships on May 25.

The letters were presented at the school’s final awards ceremony for the 2009-10 school-year. Mariariel Garcia (19) received $500 and Lidia Martinez (19) received $250 that will go toward enrollment and registration for college.

Warden Hartley stands with Lidia Martinez.

“Many of our employees were raised here in Avenal and attended Avenal High. We are proud to be a part of this community and look forward to watching your continued success in the future,” Warden Hartley told the gathered students.

Garcia said she will pursue a career in nursing.

“My biggest inspiration that led me to become a nurse is my mother. My mother had diabetes for 25 years and was also on dialysis for the past 4 years,” she said.
Garcia’s mother passed away recently.

“My experiences with my mother have inspired me to become a nurse,” she added. “Nursing will allow me to give back to my community as I obtain a career that I will enjoy.”

Martinez would like to become a teacher. “I want to come back to Avenal and teach here because I want to give back to this community.” She has been recognized by her school and her peers for volunteer tutoring and youth classes she taught in her church.
The ASP Employee Action Committee eagerly raised the funds over the last few months in recognition of the contributions these students have made to their school and their community.