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The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has recognized the abilities of two Santa Maria High School AVID students with $20,000 scholarships.

Erika Cerna Arroyo and Isabel Alfaro will receive the funds to help them next year at four-year colleges or universities, according to Saint College and Career Center Specialist Kimberley Washington.

“Since I was little, I have had two goals in mind,’’ Arroyo said. “I wanted to go to college, and I wanted to keep my parents from going into debt for paying for my education. I can now say I have achieved both.’’

School Counselor Margarita Guillen-Franco described Arroyo as a “stellar student who showed grit and determination to succeed academically no matter what circumstances she was faced with.’’

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college readiness program that closes the achievement gap for all students.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.