Last year I was invited to serve on the Selection Committee for a new $2000 College Scholarship established by the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) to honor the late Director James B. Kohnen. The Committee was formed to select the winner of the Scholarship from all of the applications received. Justin Solomon Tran, a senior at Dougherty Valley High School, was the only one who applied and won the Scholarship with no competition.
The year has come full circle and DSRSD is again offering the James B. Kohnen $2000 Scholarship to a worthy High School senior. I was invited to serve on the Scholarship Selection Committee again. This year I'm hoping more students enter to give the members of the Selection Committee something to do.
Last year the Committee consisted of me, former Dublin Mayor Janet Lockhart, and DSRSD Supervisor of the Year, Levi Fuller. I phoned Sue Stephenson, DSRSD's Community Affairs Supervisor, to find out who else would be on the Selection Committee.
Janet Lockhart will be returning. The Supervisor of the Year this year is Nancy Gamble Hatfield. Hatfield is the District Secretary for General Manager, Bert Michalczyk. She is taking Levi Fuller's place on the Committee.
Fuller is Supervisor at DSRSD's Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Pleasanton. According to Sue Stephenson, "He runs the plant." Fuller is also one of the founders of the Bay Area Consortium of Water and Wastewater Education (BACWWE) program at Solano Community College. This is a two-year career training program for new water and wastewater operators to prepare for entry-level and promotional positions at treatment facilities throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
Clean, safe water is necessary for life and proper sanitation facilities are necessary for clean, safe water supplies. While this isn't a glamorous field, it is an important one and there are good paying, ground floor jobs available with plenty of upward growth.
If students have not considered a career in water or wastewater management, maybe they should now. With the current drought creating water shortages and hardship for farmers throughout the state, managing water resources has taken on a higher priority than it had last year. Certainly more high school seniors should consider entering this field and what better way to start than to win a $2000 Scholarship to study for it.
The Scholarship winner does not have to make a commitment to take a water related job upon graduating. He or she simply must be planning to study a field related to water resources. This could include "chemistry, agricultural or urban water supply, environmental studies, or public administration associated with resources management."
Applicants must be high school seniors residing in DSRSD's Service Area, which includes south San Ramon, Dougherty Valley, and Dublin. San Ramon has two High Schools in the Service Area, Cal High and Dougherty Valley High. Dublin has four High Schools, Dublin High, Valley Christian, Quarry Lane, and Valley High.
Seniors graduating this year from one of those six High Schools are eligible to apply for the Kohnen Scholarship. Applicants need a B average, and two letters of recommendation from their school. They must be planning to attend a California public college in the fall to study a water-related subject.
Applicants will be judged on scholastic achievement and a 500 word essay demonstrating their commitment to learning about and working in a field related to water resources.
If any of you reading this are a senior at one of the high schools listed above, or the parent of a student planning to attend a State College this fall, jump on this opportunity. Parents usually foot the bill for their kids' college education. Here's an opportunity for a nice $2000 Scholarship to prime the pump.
Applications are being accepted now. The application period closes on April 30, 2014 and the award will be made in May. Click here to download an application.