Each year, the Calaveras County Water District awards two high school seniors with $500 scholarships. The students earn the scholarships by writing an essay about the value of water.

The winners of the 2018 CCWD Scholarship Awards are:

  • Claudia Loomis, Angels Camp, who graduated from Bret Harte High School and plans to pursue a degree in political science at Columbia College.
  • Sierra Stephens, Arnold, who graduated from Bret Harte High School and plans to attend Montana State University to study computer science.

The winners of the 2018 scholarships were asked to write essays using this prompt:

Discuss the value of water in California, and specifically in Calaveras County. After multiple years of drought, an exceptionally wet winter in 2016-2017 ended one of the worst droughts in California’s recorded history. What should be done at the state level and locally to minimize the negative impacts of the inevitable next drought?

CCWD Board of Directors presenting the 2018 scholarship awards

CCWD Board of Directors presenting the 2018 scholarship awards

A committee of three CCWD staff members reviewed more than 30 essays that were submitted by students attending Calaveras High School, Bret Harte High School and Mountain Oaks School. All personal identifying information was removed from each essay submission to ensure committee members were impartial in their judgment. The essays were judged on sound logic, proper grammar, accuracy and responsiveness to the prompt. Each committee member chose their top essays, and the group conferred to select the two winners for the 2018 awards. The winning essays demonstrated a strong command of the English language and overall excellence across all judgement categories.

CCWD Board Vice President and Division 4 Director Russ Thomas and Division 3 Director Bertha Underhill presented scholarship awards to the winners at the Bret Harte High School Scholarship Awards Night, held Tuesday May 22, 2018. Both winners were invited to read their essays aloud at a CCWD Board meeting held on August 8.

The District congratulates both Ms. Loomis and Ms. Stephens on their scholarships and wishes them the best of luck with future academic pursuits.

Scholarship funds will only be made available to the students once they have submitted verified proof of college class enrollment to CCWD.

CCWD 2018 Scholarship Recipients

CCWD 2018 Scholarship Recipients Claudia Loomis, left, and Sierra Stephens, right.

Written by Joel Metzger