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

East County News Service

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

Students from 22 East County high schools were selected by school administrators for their academic excellence and desire to improve our world in health. Each school nominated two students, a primary recipient received $3,300 and a secondary recipient received $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 people kindness than in health care.”

Established in 1999, the scholarship program aims to increase access to continuing education, with a view to addressing the persistent shortage of healthcare workers in the region.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2020 to 2030, approximately 2.6 million new jobs will be added to the health field, a growth projection of 16%. One of the most common reasons students reject health care as an option is because of the cost of education.

“As the demand for healthcare workers increases, we are proud to support local high school students in their pursuit of lifelong learning,” said Virginia Hall, Chair of GHD’s Board of Directors. “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 college.”

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

Students include (high school name in parentheses follows student names):

Lily Griffing, Allie Buchman (Christian); Salinas Hermez, Aleksa Medina (Valley of Diego Charter); Steela Marooki, Masar Shakir (El Cajon Valley); Sophia Morton, Jackson Crist (El Capitan); Zoe Meldrum, Micah Concepcion (Christian Foothills); Gwendolyn McLaughlin, Grace Gosnell (Granite Hills); Emily Rivas, Jessie Kim Grossmont); Tatyana Ali, Joy Hamama (Grossmont Middle College); Amya Matthewson, Claire Tran (Charter Helix); 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 (Freedom 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 Hofheinz Santana (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 career in healthcare with scholarships since 1999. Over the years, hundreds of local high school students have received individual scholarships totaling more than a million bucks.

For more information on GHD scholarships 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 Eastern Region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, GHD now leases operations to Sharp HealthCare through 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 a four-year term, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the district’s 750 square miles in eastern San Diego County. For more information about GHD, visit


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