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Don Diego awards $62,000 in college scholarships

DEL MAR – Twenty-one idealistic, accomplished and ambitious students from across the region will head this fall to colleges around California and throughout the country, bolstered by Diego Scholarship Foundation scholarships. Together, the recipients share $62,000 in monetary awards.

Don Diego annually offers college scholarships in an array of categories to students who reside in San Diego County and have participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The scholars will be feted at Don Diego's July 1 Gala and Alabama Concert at the Fair. Tickets for this popular event are available at

Don Diego Chairman Stephen Shewmaker said, "The ever-rising cost of higher education combined with current economic uncertainties makes affording college a daunting challenge for many families. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to ease the financial burden so that Don Diego scholarship recipients can fulfill their bright promise and give back to our San Diego community and the world."

The scholarship recipients include four students from Fallbrook:

Marisa Monasterio, $2,500 – Zable Foundation 4-H Scholarship winner who will go to Belmont University to major in Music Business. "Whether creating music or raising animals, you create something special and unique that reflects your personality, values and passions," said Monasterio, who has been singing, writing and playing music since childhood, including performing the National Anthem at several events.

Mallory Sehnert, $2,000 – Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship; winner is going to enter the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to major in Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communication. Sehnert said, "This is going to help with my dream of attending the U. of Nebraska-Lincoln and becoming an agriculture teacher." She is the third deserving Sehnert sibling to win a Don Diego scholarship, following in the footsteps of Taryn in 2016 and Delana in 2020.

Jordan Reyburn, $1,000 – Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship winner is going to Cal Poly Humboldt to major in Fisheries Biology. Reyburn is a Fallbrook High honor roll student who plays baseball and football, is active in community service and in FFA: "I earned Greenhand, Chapter, and State degrees and several market hog awards, including Grand Champion at the 2022 SDC Fair. I have been a deckhand on fishing boats and worked in an auto repair shop."

Taylor Michalke, $1,000 – Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship winner is going to go to Palomar College to major in Veterinary Medicine. Michalke traces her family's farming roots back more than one century in Kansas. She said, "This will help tremendously as I attend Palomar College to complete my general education, then transfer to a university to pursue a Veterinary Medicine degree. I intend to be a large-animal vet."

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. Since its inception in 1986, the foundation has awarded $1,338,844 in scholarships to 383 students and in agriculture education grants.

More information is at

Submitted by the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation.


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