10 seniors at Sun Valley school get full rides to college thanks to generous donation from alum

Michelle Fisher Image
Monday, May 20, 2024
10 Sun Valley students get full rides to college thanks to alum
Promising students at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley celebrated their last days as seniors with a special gift thanks to one very special alumnus.

SUN VALLEY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Promising students at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley recently celebrated Senior Awards Night with a special gift - a full ride to college thanks to one very special high school alumnus.

Polytechnic High class of 1969 alumnus Jerry Kline founded Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation to award life-changing scholarships to students at his alma mater.

"What I'm studying is very rigorous. I'm studying public health, because I want to become a pediatrician," scholarship recipient Prescilla Cobieya said. "So having that financial debt off my shoulders is something I am grateful for and will forever be thankful for."

Cobieya is on her way to UC San Diego, and she is one of 10 students from her class receiving roughly $40,000 in scholarship money.

"That idea of, if you work a part time job, you can put yourself through school is an impossibility," Kline said at the Senior Awards Night event.

Thanks to Kline's foundation, this is the fifth group of seniors who won't have to face that financial burden. For Emely Rodriguez, it's a relief as she heads off to San Diego State University to study advertising.

"I was planning on taking a lot of loans out and I was just going to be in a lot of debt ...as well as probably having two jobs while attending school full time, which is honestly hard not only physically, but mentally," Rodriguez said.

For first-generation college students like Nicholas Rivas, a hefty scholarship award like this could make a huge impact on their futures.

"My parents could have never afforded it on their own - I made a promise to my mom a few years ago that I wouldn't make her pay a dime, and I actually managed to do it with the Kline scholarship, which is amazing," said Rivas, who is headed to UC San Diego to study political science.

In addition to this year's 10 Kline scholarship recipients, five juniors and five sophomores received the Kline Future Scholar Award.

"Right now, we are committed to $2 million worth of scholarships - and growing," Kline said.

The same way Kline paid it forward, the recipients are required to give back at some point to future students at Polytechnic High.

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