Arizona Students Awarded Scholarships at 2024 Career Development Conference

Empowering Arizona’s Youth: Scholarships Awarded at 2024 JAG Conference
April 24, 2024

At the 2024 Career Development Conference held at the Mesa Convention Center on April 11th, we celebrated the achievements of outstanding students while highlighting the importance of partnership and philanthropy in supporting educational pursuits. 

Among the notable scholarship presenters were Joyce Medina Harper from the Dougherty Foundation, Robert Pepple representing the Carolyn Warner Legacy Scholarship, Dr. Orante Jenkins for Leadership in Education, and Brenda Avalos on behalf of the Graciela Garcia Candia Philanthropy Foundation. 

The Dougherty Foundation, a nonprofit committed to empowering Arizona students through higher education, awarded scholarships to deserving individuals from various high schools across the state. Winners include Jose Rodriguez from Tonopah Valley High School, Cynthia Solorzano from Wickenburg High School, Amaya Sommer from Coolidge High School, Brittany Riley from Paradise Valley High School, Esmira Garcia and Rosanna Becerra from Coronado High School, and Julian Rivera from Paradise Valley High School. 

The Graciela Garcia Candia Philanthropy Foundation honored the legacy of Graciela Garcia Candia, a dedicated advocate for JAG students who served the organization for four decades. Winners of the Candia Philanthropy Scholarship Award included Jonathan Guevara, Emmanuel Silva Orozco, and Perla Aguilar Duenas from Coronado High School, Cynthia Solorzano from Wickenburg High School, Amaya Sommer from Coolidge High School, and Marisela Luna Caldera from Santa Cruz Valley Union High School. 

Robert Pepple, delivering a speech on behalf of the Carolyn Warner Legacy, emphasized the foundation's commitment to supporting JAG students in their educational journeys. He stressed the importance of providing opportunities for students to learn practical skills that lead to meaningful careers, echoing the values embodied by his grandmother, Carolyn Warner. The awardees of the Carolyn Warner Legacy Scholarship are Marisela Luna Caldera, Santa Cruz Valley Union High School and Jada Farrell, Paradise Valley High School 

Dr. Orante Jenkins presented the Dr. Oranté Jenkins Leadership in Education Scholarship, recognizing outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and promise. Arezoo Niazian from Shadow Mountain High School was honored with this prestigious award, reflecting a commitment to service learning and higher education. 

The scholarships presented at the conference underscored the significance of partnership and philanthropy in enabling students to pursue their academic and career aspirations. Brenda Avalos, Leadership & Events Specialist for Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, emphasized the vital role of scholarships in removing financial barriers and ensuring access to postsecondary education and training for all students. 

In line with Achieve60 goals, JAG continues to bridge the gap between industry needs and educational attainment, achieving higher employment and postsecondary education rates among its graduates compared to statewide averages. 

As we strive to reach more students across Arizona, the need for additional funders and partners becomes increasingly apparent. Individuals and organizations interested in supporting JAG’s mission are encouraged to establish scholarships or make donations to facilitate the program’s growth and impact. 

For more information on establishing a JAG student scholarship or contributing to the program’s expansion, please contact 

The scholarships awarded at the 2024 Career Development Conference serve as a testament to the collective effort to empower Arizona’s youth and invest in their future success. 

Nicole Porter
Director of Marketing & Communications
AZ Tax Credit Funds
(602) 216-9503 I
10201 S. 51st Street, Ste 125, Phoenix, AZ 85044
Copyright 2020 -  Jobs for Arizona Graduates
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