The Anne Stradling Equine Foundation has awarded scholarships to two Patagonia Union High School graduating seniors for the school year beginning in the fall of 2019.

Gianna Martin plans to major in environmental sustainability at the University of Hawaii and Rafael “Ralphie” Quiroz is set to attend the University of Arizona and focus on the field of sports management.

The scholarship funds will be deposited with each student’s university in increments of $1,000 per semester for two years; a total of $4,000 for each award-winner.

“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 this scholarship was designed to promote,” said Beth Sullivan, the foundation’s president

Martin, fourth in the PUHS graduating class, has taken honors classes and is a member of the National Honor Society. The foundation noted that she has overcome many life challenges while working part-time jobs, including lifeguarding at the Patagonia Public Pool for the past two summers.

At school, Martin has served as secretary of the Student Council, president of the Future Farmers of America and played on the school volleyball and basketball teams. She also volunteers as a student docent for the Patagonia Museum and was a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards delegate.

“Not only do I want to become an environmentalist, but I also want to travel and participate in organizations and projects bigger than myself that will make a positive impact,” she said.

Quiroz is heavily involved in agricultural activities including FFA and 4-H, and he and three teammates represented Arizona in the 4-H National Skillathon Competition. He was also elected by his peers to be Mr. 4-H last year. He was selected to represent Arizona at the National 4-H Legacy Awards in Washington D.C. and has been a counselor for the past two years at the 4-H Wildcat Camp, mentoring youth and helping them develop their leadership skills.

Quiroz is also an excellent student, graduating third in his class and earning membership in the National Honor Society. Despite all his activities and volunteerism he has worked throughout high school to save for his future education.

He has a passion for sports, especially basketball, and he is hoping to turn this passion into a lifetime career.

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