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Bekka Wiedenmeyer, News Editor

In times when college tuitions are spiraling well out of the range of an average budget, scholarships are key to giving students the opportunities needed to attend the colleges of their dreams.

Sandia National Laboratories and the Livermore Chamber of Commerce team up once an academic year to give one LPC student the opportunity to live his or her dream through the Student of the Year award. The deadline is Feb. 13 — all students who meet the required criteria are welcome to apply.

“It’s pretty much the best of the best,” LPC Director of Student Life Cynthia Ross said, “so it’s based on academics, community service, leadership, involvement in college activities, all that kind of stuff.”

Over five years ago, Sandia National Laboratories and the Livermore Chamber of Commerce made the decision to provide a scholarship worth $1,000 to an LPC student with outstanding academics and leadership skills. Previously, the two organizations had only provided such scholarships to local high school students.

“The Student of the Year award is something that the Livermore Chamber of Commerce and Sandia Laboratory came up with years ago,” Ross said. “They were recognizing certain high school students for different things, and they decided to have a recognition for Las Positas as well.”

The criteria required to receive this award vary between academics and personal leadership skills. The student must have completed 36 units by the end of the fall 2012 semester with at least a 3.5 GPA. The student must be graduating from LPC by August 2013. He or she must also have a clean community college record.

Included in the application itself is a personal statement, along with a statement from a mandatory faculty sponsor. Descriptions of career goals, college awards, college activities and community service are also required.

The LPC Scholarship Committee Review and Nominee Selection will be on Feb. 22. The committee is usually composed of about four people every year: Cynthia Ross; Randy Taylor, math instructor at LPC and advisor for the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society; Diana Rodriguez, Vice President of Student Services; and one other faculty member that changes from year to year.

“We look at their personal statement, how they write it, what they say in it, their goals, the number of community service they do, the leadership roles they’ve taken, the activities that they’ve been involved in,” Ross said. “We have a rating system. We give them certain points out of a maximum, and then we come up with who we think is the most deserving.”

The most deserving LPC student will receive the promised $1,000 in scholarship money. He or she will additionally be recognized at the Livermore Chamber of Commerce’s Dream Makers and Risk Takers Luncheon in March.

Students have until Feb. 13 to apply. All completed applications can either be emailed to Cynthia Ross at, or dropped off at her office in Building 1300-C.

“Apply. I want everybody to apply who feels like they meet the criteria,” Ross said. “Go online and see the information about it. Pay attention and be serious when you’re writing your personal statement and things that are required because that’s how we pick them. They really need to sell themselves.”

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