When the nonprofit Vineyard Team promotes sustainable winegrowing, the organization addresses more than natural resources. They know that sustainability includes protecting our most valuable resource: the people.
The organization has released the first Impact Report for the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship.
Since 2015, the scholarship has invested over $270,000 to help the children of California-based vineyard and winery workers pay for college. 98 percent of recipients have been the first in their family to earn a higher education.
According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of first-generation college students do not graduate. These students have more barriers when it comes to attaining higher education – they cannot ask their parents how to navigate the system, budgets are often tight, and they can feel guilty for leaving their families.
By providing a mix of financial aid and mentorship, the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship helps boost graduation rates and develop a qualified workforce that is committed to serving their community.
“The scholarship has been very helpful. It has allowed me to buy books, pay tuition, cover a lot of expenses, and not worry about using out-of-pocket money to pay for school. The scholarship has allowed me to focus on school and be the best person I can be,” says multi-year recipient Alberto Ramirez, current student at Cal State University Fresno.
Each year, Vineyard Team’s Scholarship Committee reviews applicants who face seemingly insurmountable life challenges from being a teen dad to the death of a mother. And yet, each scholar strives for a better life for themselves and their family. They all embody the essence of Juan Nevarez, a beloved member of the California Central Coast winegrape industry.
Although Juan struggled to read and write, he dreamed of higher education for his children. He worked to turn his dream into a reality and share opportunities with others.
Multi-year donor Chloé Asseo-Fabre of L’Aventure Winery says, “Juan’s mission was to help his employees’ families reach their full potential. We always admired his dedication to education. It’s an honor to help keep his legacy alive by donating to an amazing cause.”
The first Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship Impact Report highlights the inspiring students whose lives have been changed by the generous donors who came together in the last year to give the gift of higher education.
Vineyard Team staff, Board of Directors, Scholarship Committee, and scholars all thank you, the community, for investing in the next generation.
The Impact Report can be found at vineyardteam.org/2023ImpactReport.
About Vineyard Team:
Vineyard Team is a 501(c)3 non-profit grower-group dedicated to sustainable winegrowing since 1994. For nearly 30 years, Vineyard Team has built a network of over 300 local farmers, educating and guiding towards sustainable vineyard practices.