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44 students from 22 local East County high schools were awarded scholarships at the March 18 board meeting 

East County News Service

March 27, 2022 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) awarded $111,100 in scholarships to 44 local high school students who have expressed interest in a career as a healthcare professional.

The students from 22 high schools in East County were selected by school administrators for their academic excellence and a desire to improve our world in the healthcare field. Each school nominated two students, a primary recipient awarded $3,300 and secondary recipient awarded $1,650.

“I think one of the most important qualities in life is kindness,” said Mora A., a high school scholarship recipient from Valhalla High School. “There’s no better place to give kindness to people than in healthcare.”

Established in 1999, the scholarship program aims to increase access to continuing education, ultimately addressing the ongoing shortage of healthcare workers in the region. 

According to the bureau of labor statistics, from 2020 to 2030, about 2.6 million new jobs will be added to the healthcare field, a 16 percent projection of growth. One of the most common reasons students dismiss healthcare as an option is due to the costs of study.

“As the demand for health care workers surges, we are proud to support local high school students in their pursuit of continuing education,” said Virginia Hall, GHD Board President. “We hope that for the next generation of healthcare professionals, we can dissolve some of the stress that comes with the financial responsibility of attending a college.”

Photo, right:  Michael Emerson, RDO, FNAO (left), Treasurer of GHD, and Virginia Hall, RN (right), Board President, present Mora Azimi, from Valhalla High School, with a scholarship certificate

The students include (name of the high school in parenthesis follows the students’ names):

Lily Griffing, Allie Buchman (Christian); Salinas Hermez, Aleksa Medina (Diego Valley Charter); Steela Marooki, Masar Shakir (El Cajon Valley); Sophia Morton, Jackson Crist (El Capitan); Zoe Meldrum, Micah Concepcion (Foothills Christian); Gwendolyn McLaughlin, Grace Gosnell (Granite Hills); Emily Rivas, Jessie Kim Grossmont); Tatyana Ali, Joy Hamama (Grossmont Middle College); Amya Matthewson, Claire Tran (Helix Charter); Vianney Cuevas, Jullinda Jameson (IDEA Center High); Kylie Glass, Elizabeth Pena Renteria (Innovation High, Lakeside); Isabella Russell, Melissa Vazquez (Innovation High, Lemon Grove); Bethany Mapes, Sierra Battah (Liberty Charter); Diego Mendoza, Yerlin (Annika) Everson (Monte Vista); Valerie Portillo Suarez, Kayla Petersen Mountain (Mount Miguel); Rose Johnson, Mariyah Weldy (Mountain Empire); Lauren Schalik, Jamie Mittleman (Patrick Henry); Phoebe Chaffee, Rebecca HofheinzSantana (River Valley Charter); Rency Mallari, Jessica Garcia (Santana); Rita Kamal, Amiya German (Steele Canyon Charter); Carl Purisima, Mora Azimi (Valhalla); Jacob Rhodes, Isabella Cervantes (West Hills)

GHD has honored local high school students interested in a healthcare career with scholarship grants since 1999. Over the years, hundreds of local high school students have received individual scholarships totaling more than $1 million.

For more information on GHD scholarship and workforce development opportunities, visit the GHD website.

About Grossmont Healthcare District

The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East Region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, GHD now leases operations to Sharp HealthCare via a public-private partnership and continues to own the hospital on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County. For more information about GHD, visit

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