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 Don Diego Offers $69,000 in College Scholarships


Don Diego Scholarship Foundation logo

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is offering $69,000 in 2020 college scholarships to 24 outstanding students who reside in the San Diego area and have participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Scholarships are offered in six categories. Individual awards range from $1,000 to $20,000. The deadline to apply is March 23. Eligibility details and applications are at dondiegoscholarship.org. For questions, contact cmannen@sdfair.com.

Finalist interviews will be held in May. Recipients will be honored at the Don Diego Gala at the San Diego County Fair. Each recipient will receive a personalized legacy brick installed at the fairgrounds. They also will have an opportunity to reapply for a scholarship in subsequent years.

Scholarship Breakdown

  • Scholarships of $5,000, $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000 will be awarded in each of four categories: Zable Foundation 4-H, FFA, Employee, and Exhibitor/Participant.
  • The $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding $5,000 recipient from one of the above categories for a total $10,000 award.
  • An unprecedented, $5,000 scholarship renewable for three additional years of college will be awarded to an outstanding candidate from one of the above categories. This total $20,000, four-year scholarship is funded by Caroline Gay White and her family.
  • One $5,000, one $2,500, one $1,500 and seven $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to participants in the Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction (JLA).
  • A debut $3,000 JLA scholarship will be offered via the inaugural William and Betty Ann Tulloch Endowed Scholarship honoring this iconic San Diego County Fair family's deep agricultural roots. The scholarship is funded by the Tulloch Family.

According to Executive Director Chana Mannen, “In 2019, Don Diego reached two significant milestones. Our total monetary awards over the years topped one million dollars and last year we received 100 scholarship applications in what has become a highly competitive program. In 2020, we look forward to receiving scores of applications from a wide array of high-achieving, exceptional students who have participated in events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.”

She adds, “As we expand opportunities with new scholarships and accelerate efforts toward raising our second million dollars, we thank our generous donors, who enable us to support the future leaders of our community. We invite people to join us as we build a better San Diego, one scholarship at a time.” 

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, AKA Tom Hernandez, who served as the Fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947-1984. To date since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded nearly $1,040,000 in scholarships to 257 students and in agriculture education grants. More information is available at dondiegoscholarship.org and facebook.com/DonDiegoScholarship.

Don Diego Scholarship winners 2019