The Anne Stradling Equine Foundation has awarded five scholarships worth a total of $50,000 to graduating high school seniors from Santa Cruz County.
“These students epitomize the qualities of high academic scholarship, a deep commitment to community volunteerism, a strong background in agricultural activities and a dedication to their school’s organizations that our scholarships were designed to promote,” said Beth Sullivan, the foundation’s president.
In addition, two of the awardees are majoring in agriculture with the aim of earning a degree in veterinary medicine, a goal close to the heart of Anne Stradling, a former Patagonia resident who created the first U.S. museum dedicated to the horse.
Those two scholarship winners will each receive a four-year award totaling $20,000.
The winners include Sarah Lyman of Elgin, who was ranked fourth in her class of 74 students at Benson High School.
A member of the National Honor Society and the National Society of High School Scholars, Lyman has served as president of the Future Farmers of America at her high school and was a delegate to the 4-H Engaged Citizens Event, where she represented Santa Cruz County to the Arizona State Legislature. Her volunteer activities include serving as junior swine project leader in 4-H, assisting with the Sonoita Ranch Youth Rodeo and the Canelo Cowboy Church Ranch Family Fun Days.
Lyman is now enrolled in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, where she’ll major in neurosciences. Her goal is to become a large animal veterinarian.
Brianna Young, who recently graduated from Patagonia Union High School as her class salutatorian, is another aspiring veterinarian. She’s headed for the University of Arizona to study in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Young competed in 4-H livestock skillathons, where she has placed in the top 10 since middle school, and competed in the national contest in Louisville, Ky. She also won the state champion sheep production proficiency award in 2020.
Her volunteer activities include working at the Patagonia Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Steak Fry, helping with fundraising for the town’s new dog kennel and appearing in the Los Charros Foundation’s fundraiser video.
Hannah Woodard, who ranked fifth among the 23 graduating seniors at PUHS, will receive a $4,000 two-year award to support her plans to attend the University of Arizona and study marketing in the Eller College of Management.
In addition to her studies, Woodard has participated in basketball, volleyball and tennis, and has been active in FAA. She was junior class vice-president and secretary of student council in her senior year at PUHS. She also placed as runner-up in the Patagonia Regional Times essay contest, and helps out with her mother’s farm.
Two students who are enrolled at Pima Community College will receive a two-year, $3,000 award from the Stradling foundation. They include Alex Santos, who ranked 10th in his class at PUHS while also participating on the Lobos’ sports teams.
Santos plans to pursue an academic career in school counseling. “Alex’s relationship with the youth is strong and one of a peer mentor,” said Anna Coleman, director of the Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center.
Santos has delivered food boxes during the pandemic, provided music for church services, and helped at the youth center by painting a mural and shoveling dirt for the garden.
Also receiving a $3,000 award is Hannah Young, who was fifth in her class at PUHS and plans to one day become a flight nurse.
Young plans to earn her associate degree and then transfer to the University of Arizona to pursue a nursing degree with a focus on advanced life support.
Her activities included varsity sports at PUHS, serving as president of the San Rafael 4-H program and as class president in her freshman, junior and senior years. She volunteers with the Patagonia Volunteer Fire Department and Marshal’s Office and is a member of the National Honor Society.