By Lt. Gregory Bergersen, AA/PIO
Valley State Prison
Staff attended scholarship ceremonies at Madera South High School, Madera High School, Chowchilla High School and Eastin-Arcola High School, to personally hand out the scholarship certificates. Those in attendance were surprised to hear the funds were collected by the inmate population.
At each event, the audience was told the inmates conducted fund-raising events and wanted to distribute the money in the form of scholarships. Associate Warden Gloria Colmenero was the driving force behind the scholarship awards and was on hand at each event to share the VSP story.
“The attendees always look surprised to hear the money comes from the inmates,” Associate Warden Colmenero said. “We make it clear that the intentions are to use the money to better their lives and to avoid the mistakes the inmates have made. These scholarships send a very powerful message to the recipients.”
In total, the inmates collected $6,000 for the college scholarships.