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Bender wins two Don Diego Scholarships totaling $2,000

DEL MAR – Dacey Bender, who graduates from Fallbrook Union High School with a 4.2 GPA while undertaking a challenging AP curriculum, has won two highly competitive college scholarships from the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation totaling $2,000.

She will use the funds to major in Biology at UCSD on her way toward becoming an obstetrician gynecologist, "Through this career, I hope to show compassion to patients and be seen as a positive light to all I interact with."

Bender is one of 26 exemplary students sharing a whopping $83,000 in 2024 Don Diego scholarships. Praising them as accomplished, idealistic, and altruistic, Don Diego Chairman Stephen Shewmaker said, "Individually, our Class of 2024 recipients are driven to make their community and the world a better place. Together, they embody the quintessential attributes of a Don Diego Scholar."

Bender, who captured a $1,000 Kirby Morrison FFA Scholarship and a $1,000 Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship, aptly fits his description. She is an accomplished member of the Fallbrook High Dance Program, an active participant in Fallbrook FFA, a youth volunteer at Riverview Church, and a longtime volunteer with the National Charity League.

For the latter, Bender explained, "I have had the opportunity to volunteer with multiple groups in my community. I have worked with the senior center, thrift shops, and even taken care of more than 20 community trees annually!"

Fallbrook Chapter FFA Advisor Margaret Chapman described Bender as "a mature, self-driven young lady committed to her academics and leadership development." Fallbrook High Dance Program Director Anna Haskell said, "Dacey's confidence, open-mindedness, and risk-taking skills are some of her strongest attributes."

Modest yet motivated, Bender tackles leadership roles with energy and aplomb. She said, "The knowledge that I have contributed to the world is a rewarding feeling and I cannot wait to grow that. I feel honored to have been selected by Don Diego to receive their scholarships. This financial assistance will help propel me in my career. Throughout my life, I will strive to bring honor to the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation and everything it stands for. "

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, aka Tom Hernandez, who served as San Diego County Fair's welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947-1984.

Since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded $1,416,844 in scholarships to 409 students and in Plant*Grow*Eat agriculture education grants, which enable elementary students from San Diego area Title 1 schools to learn about agriculture and nutrition while enjoying a day at the Fair.

Submitted by the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation.


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