Sophomore Mariana Sifuentes nominated for prestigious scholarship

Ani Kocharyan

Michelle Kaganovsky
Mariana Sifuentes was nominated for the Warren Christopher Scholarship because of her extensive involvement in her community.

Mariana Sifuentes could have never imagined that she would be nominated to apply for the $20,000 Warren Christopher Scholarship.

“I’m very grateful,” Sifuentes said. “I wasn’t expecting my name to be announced on the intercom.”

The Warren Christopher Scholarship is given to high school sophomores who show commitment to their school or community. Schools nominate students that they believe deserve the scholarship. Sifuentes was nominated by guidance counselor Martina Torres and college counselor Linda Zimring.

“We had a selection process and we received surveys, like a questionnaire, from each student and we used their answers to select a student,” Torres said. “She will be competing against approximately 80 other applicants from other high schools.”

The scholarship was established in 1992 to honor Warren Christopher, former Secretary of State. The money is provided by the partners of O’Melveny & Myers LLP who give mentorship and career advice to each scholarship recipient. They also provide job opportunities and resources when necessary.

“Warren Christopher was someone who helped out in his community of Los Angeles so that’s how it started,” Sifuentes said. “They wanted to see people get involved in their community.”

To help her community, Sifuentes has been helping her church for five years.

“I usually help on Saturday and Sunday,” Sifuentes said.

Recipients of the scholarship receive $20,000 to help pay for college at a rate of $5,000 per academic year over four consecutive years. The winners will be announced in April.

“My family isn’t rich so I’m going to need financial aid,” Sifuentes said. “I was really surprised when I first got it. I knew I had a chance but I didn’t know I would get it so I feel honored.