Venice High School Alumni Scholarship Program
The Venice High School Scholarship Program stands as a lasting tribute to
many generous people, organizations and businesses who have made supporting our
students in their quest of higher education a priority.
Scholarship Recipients Announced!
2015 Seniors are Headed to College
Thanks to many generous alumni more Venice High students are going to college. Last year we started awarding Junior scholarships, helping 11th graders know they can make their college dream a reality. This year’s seniors seem to shine and their futures are bright. To read about the history of the Scholarship Program, including the management of its endownment through the California Community Fund, Read about how the scholarship fund is managed.
2015 Scholarship Recipients
Scholarship recipients were Amber Holyfield, Angela
Vo, Ann Gonzalez, Lisa Sobajian, Lobna Abdulrahman, Jasmine Howling, William
Young-Min Ko, Ian Johnson, Jack Drucker, Alexandra Cervantes, Maria
Evangelista, David Flores, Thalia Telles, Pahola Chavez, Juan Camarillo,
Karla Abad, Sheila Fallah, Celeste Tobar, Betsy Escobar, Sara Gsell, Petra
Rudisill, Karissa Corralez, Perma Yangden, Simran Ali, Ivan Gomez, Christian
Santiesteban, Jocelyn Garduno, Mazden Mastromauro, Maximilien Boutry and
Senior awards ceremony presenters were - Laura Ferre, Jim Blackwood, Art and Penny Antolick, Doris Gilbert, Grant Francis and Norma Mascarenas.
HOW TO APPLY: Each year VHSAA Scholarship Applications are available in March, due in April and then awarded in May (at Senior Awards Night). On campus, applications can be picked in the College Center. Applications can also be downloaded on this site. For more detailed information and eligibility requirements, Click Here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THIS AMAZING PROGRAM GROW:
Velma Ott Smith & Kathy Blackwood Memorial Scholarship
Grant Francis Scholarship
Paul E. Godfrey Memorial Scholarship
Korean War Vets Memorial Scholarship
Scott E. Antolick Memorial Scholarship
Joan Leib Memorial Scholarship
Lois (Larson) Peterson Memorial Scholarship
Laura Jeanne Gilbert Memorial Scholarship
Coach Bill Fairbanks Memorial Scholarship
G.O. Turney Memorial Scholarship
Michael Pomerantz Memorial Scholarship
Bill E. Paney Memorial Scholarship
Shirley Hall Memorial Scholarship
Leonard Gottlieb Memorial Scholarship
Kathy began teaching at Venice in 1963 and retired in 2000. Technically she taught until 2001 for LAUSD because she was invited to teach at UCLA during the academic year 2000-2001. She taught math and introduced Discrete Math to the curriculum during the 90’s. She had breaks in her career for child care and one year as Math Plus coordinator for the Los Angeles Educational Partnership. She was assistant athletic director for a short time during the 1980’s. The scholarship began with her mother's passing in 1996 when friends and family gave donations to the Alumni Association along with a generous donation from the Parthians of S'58. She had a preference for students interested in teaching math but didn't want it to be limited to math only because she wanted it to be based primarily on financial need. When she passed away, once again friends, family and the Parthians donated to the scholarship and it became the Velma Ott Smith/Kathy Blackwood Scholarship. In summary, she spent over thirty years at Venice High as a math teacher which had always been her dream. A Pine Tree is planted near her classroom that was in the East Building.
A teacher at VHS for 33 years, 1966 – 2001. Grant
taught stage crew, wood shop, leadership and life skills. The fund was
established Nov. 1991 as a surprise for his 50th birthday.
The scholarship guideline is for a student with at least 20 credits in the Performing Arts Department (stage crew, if available), enrolling in an entertainment/communication major at an accredited college. Secondary requirement, outstanding member of the Leadership Class, Industrial Arts, or Art department - specializing in video production.
Established by Paul’s wife, Jane, and his family and friends in 2007. Paul graduated VHS 1940, he attended Santa Monica City College, enlisted in U.S. Marine Corps, served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. After WWII, he enrolled at University of Southern California and graduated with bachelor and master degrees. A gifted administrator and leader, he embarked on a career in education, as a Mathematics teacher and coach. He served in a number of administrative capacities in LAUSD, including as Principal of VHS for three years, 1970-1973. He retired in 1987. Paul died in 2006 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Established by the class of 1951 in 1997. In April of 1996, Lynn Becker and some of his classmates from the graduating class of 1951 decided to raise funds and establish a scholarship to honor four of their classmates who were killed during the Korean War in 1950 and 1951. Classmates: David Allen (W’50), Tom Buchanan (S’50), Jerry Doty (S’50), and John Mattei (S’50) All joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve. They were deployed to active duty in 1950 and 1951 to fight for their country in the Korean War. By the summer of 1951, all four of these popular 1950 graduates had been killed in action. May they “Rest in Peace…”
Established in 2006, by Scott’s parents, Penny and Art. Scott was born in 1986 with a congenital heart defect but never let that dampen his commitment to helping others. He was the American Heart Association’s youth ambassador and raised $14,000 in donations during the West Los Angeles Heart Walks in the final three years of his life. His charity didn’t stop there. Scott tutored children in English and Science, raised money for Camp del Corazon, a free camp for children with heart disease and with two friends, ran the nonprofit Komputers4Kids to provide donated computers to children leaving foster care for college. Shortly before he died, in 2003, Scott was given an Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award by the National Association of Fundraising Professionals, and he was awarded his Eagle Scout.
Scott Edward Antolick died on October 17, 2003, shortly after he
turned 17 years old. Scott was a Senior at Venice High School and was a
Valedictorian Candidate. Because of all his AP credits, he had enough
credits to graduate with his class and was awarded his diploma posthumously
in June, 2004.
On the day he died, Scott and his friends were playing Ultimate Frisbee after school on the front lawn of Venice High School. As he was running to catch a pass, he collapsed from a heart arrhythmia. He died shortly thereafter at the hospital. In Scott’s memory, the PTA of VHS planted an olive tree, donated by Beth Shir Shalom Temple, on the front lawn. (A Hong Kong orchid tree was planted in Scott’s memory on the campus of Mar Vista Elementary School).Scott Antolick –parents Art and Penny have set this up to continue into perpetuity.
This scholarship is for a VHS Senior with a financial need who wants to make a difference as shown by his/her drive to do well even through less than ideal circumstances and who has Scott’s spirit of giving and helping others.
Joan taught AP English, ESL and Basic English for
over 23 years at VHS 1969 – 1993. She retired and moved to Honolulu and
continued substitute teaching till the age of 79. The scholarship direction
is for a student that comes from an economically disadvantaged background
interested in pursuing a higher education. Established in 2012, by the
family, after her passing Oct. 30, 2011, from Lung Cancer.
Preference given to a student who is the first one in his immediate family that is attending college, but not mandatory.
Lois was born in Nebraska and came to Venice High
School in the 11th grade. She graduated W’37. She took shorthand and
business classes at Venice and continued in college. She worked for the
telephone company in Venice for many years. She and her husband retired in
Paradise, CA. Lois passed in 1993. The fund started in 1994, with money from
her estate. There is also a scholarship set up in her name at her school in
The scholarship direction is for a student who has completed the Business Education curriculum at VHS and will be pursuing higher education in a business-related program. In addition the recipient shall be of good moral character and have a financial need.
Laura grew up in Mar Vista and graduated from Venice
High in 1986. She danced, sang, painted, and wrote her way through
childhood. During high school she immersed herself in photography as art,
winning awards and also played in the marching band. At Cal Arts she added
playwriting, acting and directing, as well as publishing her poetry, earning
a BFA with a double major in art and theater. She continued her studies as a
graduate student at UCLA in screenwriting. Continuing health problems from
diabetes, which she contracted at six, prevented her from completing her
degree. She died at age 28 from complications of diabetes in 1997.
Established in 1998 by Doris Gilbert and family
The scholarship is for a college bound student active in the arts (photography, art, music, performing arts) or creative writing.
Bill was a U.S. Marine and had a tour in Korea.
After the Korean conflict ended he came back to MCRD as a Drill Instructor
where he finished his tour. Bill graduated UCLA with a teaching credential
and began teaching P.E. and Science. After three years a Palms Jr. High, he
transferred to Venice High in 1966 were he stayed until retirement in 1995.
At Venice, Bill met his wife Wendy, also a teacher, they were married for 40
years. Bill coached C Basketball, JV Baseball, B and Varsity Football as
well as the Band. He taught U.S. History, U.S. Government and Health. It
didn’t matter the subject or sport he taught, he did everything well and the
students loved him.
Coach Fairbanks was one of the founding members for the Gondo Golf tournament. Raising over $10,000 for the high school as of 2014. In 2013 the golf event was named Coach Bill Fairbanks Gondo Golf Classic, in his honor.
Coach passed away April 2013.
The direction of the scholarship is for an athlete – possibly one who has overcome personal adversities.
For a student (s) planning to pursue a career as a teacher.
Michael taught Mathematics. He was the Department
Chair 1949 – 1984. In recognition of his long tenure as a VHS teacher and
his continuing support of both the school and Alumni Association., the
VHSAA. Board of Directors established the Michael Pomerantz Scholarship.
The scholarship is for a student planning to pursue a career in education.
Taught Music – Crescendos, Jazz Band, Marching Band
1960-1977, retired to Hawaii.
For a student that has participated in the music program and who may wishing to continue in the field.
Head Counselor and A.P. at VHS 1970 – 1988
Direction of scholarship – Business, Administration, Teaching.
Joe had many dreams; he was a friend to everyone
he knew, he helped others willingly, and he hoped to make this world a
Through this fund, we can help other inspiring Venice High students achieve their dreams in his memory, for many years to come.
Donate to The General Scholarship Fund
Not all of the scholarships are Memorials, many are General Scholarships. Based on financial need, school and community involvement. Selected from their personal statement, essay and application.
Venice High School Projects
Click on any button to make online donation
Mail in your donation
form and mail it along
with your check (payable to "VHSAA" and note which scholarship you want to
Venice High School - Scholarships
2435 Walgrove Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Leave a Legacy
Make a gift bequest in your will or Family Living Trust for the benefit of VHSAA Scholarship Fund.
For more information about the VHSAAA Scholarship
Program, including how to join the Committee, please contact John Weldon
Email John. Read an interview with John that explains how the
VHSAA Scholarship Fund is managed
We’re loyal to you Venice High School, to thee we will always be true…