Valle del Sol

Valle del Sol's Rosa Carrillo Torres Memorial Scholarship

Valle del Sol’s Rosa Carrillo Torres Memorial Scholarship was established by the Valle del Sol organization to provide support for students of Hispanic heritage who are the first generation in their family planning to pursue a secondary education. Rosa was an ardent advocate of vulnerable populations, dedicating countless hours offering them hope and opportunities. Her legacy lives on and will continue to make a difference in the lives of those in need by way of educational scholarships. Her strong commitment to the Latino community and spirit of volunteerism will never be forgotten.

Vanita A. Schwenn Scholarship Fund

Vanita A. Schwenn Scholarship Fund

Vanita Alberta Schwenn (Nita), (Jan. 4, 1927 – Dec. 26, 2011) was the third of seven children born to Charles Coleman and Esther Lee Jones. She was born outside of the very small community of Coleman in rural southeastern Oklahoma. Nita grew up during the Great Depression and lived her early life in hardship and great poverty. She was only able to attend school through the eighth grade. In those days there were no school buses to transport children who lived miles from the nearest high school to continue their education. Parents boarded their children with families who lived in town for a fee. The Jones family couldn’t afford that fee. They also couldn’t afford to lose one of their best farm hands. Nita was left to help support the family. Despite her hardscrabble upbringing, Nita aspired to have a better life. She was intelligent, hardworking, and tenacious and quite a beauty by anyone’s standards. Vanita Jones Schwenn was a woman who fearlessly took on any project, and did everything she attempted with great style and skill.

Nita lived most of her adult life in California, and owned several very successful businesses, including a knitting shop and beauty shop. She often worked several jobs at the same time. In her early adult life she was a stunning model and competed in several beauty contests. Later, she worked as a successful realtor at Leisure World in Seal Beach, CA, where she carefully saved and invested her earnings.

Throughout her life, Nita was a talented seamstress, artist and crafter, and won many awards and ribbons for her work. She developed a line of handcrafted bears she called UnitaBears, and each of the thousands she made was unique and took on a personality of its own. She was continually improving her craft by learning new techniques and successfully sold many of her creations on the Internet. Nita had a natural gift for making highly sophisticated handcrafts with meticulous perfection.

In spite of Nita’s limited formal education, she was self-taught, and keenly interested in local, national and world events, and always encouraged her many nieces and nephews as well as others to attain as much education as possible. She made it a life goal to help others achieve their educational pursuits. It was her hope that recipients of her Vanita Alberta Schwenn Scholarship would “pay it forward” to help others in need just as she has to complete their education.

Vicki Piña Scholarship Fund

Vicki Piña Scholarship Fund

Vicki Piña grew up in Nogales, Arizona, in a large, loving Lebanese family, and learned the value of hard work, perseverance, and strong family values. She attended the University of Arizona, married and had a daughter (Jennifer) and eventually became the owner of a successful printing and copying company. After selling her business Vicki worked as volunteer coordinator for Homeward Bound, a social service agency that assisted homeless women with families, mostly victims of domestic violence, to become financially stable and to secure permanent homes. Vicki had great appreciation for both education and community service, and great compassion for women whose life circumstances pose barriers to success. She devoted countless hours to community service through Soroptimist International of Phoenix, part of a worldwide volunteer organization. After serving as president of that organization Vicki went on to serve as a board member, officer and then governor of Soroptimist International of the Americas Golden West Region. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend to all that she encountered.

Walter Keith Irwin Memorial Scholarship Fund

Walter Keith Irwin Memorial Scholarship Fund

Walter Keith Irwin-

He was born in Oelwein, Iowa on 17 February 1921. From an early age he had a keen interest in history and airplanes. He loved to make paper airplane models. Soon after graduating from Oelwein High School, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940. While still attending training programs, the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 occurred. After completing those training programs, Walter was assigned to the Aleutian Islands, sometimes called the “Forgotten War”. His field of specialty was aircraft maintenance.

In early 1945 he was assigned to an air base in California where he met Dorothy Scaroni, who was working in the squadron office. She was the daughter of immigrants from Switzerland who were dairy ranchers in the King City /Gonzalez, California area. Walter and Dorothy were married in September 1945. Walter and Dorothy had two daughters, Virginia Kay and Roberta Ann (Bobbi).

In 1947 the United States Air Force was officially created and Walter Irwin transferred from Army Air Corps to this new branch of the military where his love and knowledge of airplanes would continue to expand. Some of Walter and Dorothy’s assignments were in Louisiana, Washington, D. C., Texas, Arizona, and to the Philippines. Walter served in Korea during the Korean Conflict.

During a ten year assignment at Laughlin AFB near Del Rio, Texas, Walter had the honor of being part of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron which had the famous U-2 planes. Some of his frequent TDY assignments took him to upstate New York in the wintertime, to Trinidad, to Alaska. Being stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines during the Vietnam War era provided the opportunity for travel to New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.

Walter specialized in aircraft maintenance quality control as he progressed through the enlisted ranks. Thanks to the United States Air Force, that shy young man from a small Iowa town had an amazing, successful 30 year career in the military! He retired at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in November 1970 with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

In retirement he was a U. S. Postal Service mail carrier in Sun City, Arizona for several years until a brain tumor made it impossible to work. After 4 ½ years of 2 craniotomies and radiation treatments, Walter Keith Irwin died on 9 September 1982 at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. To honor the legacy of his zeal for history and aviation and the honor, integrity, and patriotism of Walter Irwin, his daughter and son-in-law, Bobbi and Dan Shay, have established the Walter Keith Irwin Memorial Scholarship.

WESTMARC & Leadership West

WESTMARC & Leadership West

About WESTMARC and Leadership West
WESTMARC is a public-private partnership of the 15 communities, business community and educational sector west of Interstate 17. WESTMARC’s mission is to enhance economic development and promote quality of life in the West Valley.

Leadership West cultivates leadership capital for the West Valley. Its diverse membership believes that intelligent, active engagement in public affairs is the true measure of citizenship and the foundation for our community.

YWCA Harriet M. Heatherington Scholarship Fund

YWCA Harriet M. Heatherington Scholarship Fund

YWCA Harriet M. Heatherington Scholarship Fund was established by Harriet M. Heatherington in 1966. Harriet was a member and long-time supporter of YWCA Maricopa County. She created the scholarship fund through her estate to help deserving women attain their educational goals. In past years, dedicated friends of Harriet and volunteers of YWCA Maricopa County awarded over $75,000 in grants to over 260 women who were passionate about moving forward with their life and furthering their careers.

Scholarships are distributed once each year to women pursuing their post-secondary education in an Arizona college, trade school or university through the Arizona Community Foundation. Scholarship recipients are selected based on their financial need, academic standing, career goals, and their demonstration and desire to complete their post-secondary education