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!

At senior awards night the presentations were made. We know these young adults have the building blocks of good character, from being Gondos and we know that helping to further their education with these scholarships, they will represent VHS proudly in the years to come. Thank you to all alumni members who make these scholarships possible. Read about how the scholarship fund is managed.

4th annual 11th grade scholarships
3 Juniors, Colin Chun, Leslie Arenas and Nnaermeka Nwiwu were awarded $1,000 each to go towards their college tuitions. The awards were based on their school & community involvement. All three did an outstanding job and we are proud to help them further their education. They will be recognized again at the 2018 Senior Awards Night.

2017 Scholarship Recipients

Recipients - Gul Ruhk Anwar, Aires Miranda-Antonio, Bryan Godfrey, Melissa Kitagawa, Jae Hee Ha, Jeremiah Dibble, Francisco Valverde, Adam Hirata, Fiona DeRego, Lucy Pan, Faiz Shamji, Ana Sebastian, Mona Viera, Kriseira Lamas-Krauletz, Andrea Lo, Allie Walters, Scott Kenberg, Sharu Suriya, Ashley Scott, Alan Ruiz, Jose Santiago-Ruiz, Edgar Sanchez, Marsy Mateo, Yesenia Garcia-Ochoa, Ingrid Hernandez, Lauren Dennis, SaraJoy Salib, Brenda Felipe, Luis Palomar and Mariam Ali.

Presenters included, alumni president, Grant Francis, Laura Ferre, Art & Penny Antilock, Rich Leib, Chris Tachiki 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 2018 eligibility requirements, Click Here.



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

Joe Tachiki Scholarship

Barbara Komatsu
General Scholarship Fund

Velma Ott Smith & Kathy Blackwood 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.

Grant Francis Scholarship

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.

 Paul E. Godfrey Memorial Scholarship

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.

Korean War Vets Memorial Scholarship

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…”

Scott E. Antolick Memorial Scholarship

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 Leib Memorial Scholarship

 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 (Larson) Peterson Memorial Scholarship

 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 Nebraska.

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 Jeanne Gilbert Memorial Scholarship

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.

Coach Bill Fairbanks Memorial Scholarship

 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.

G.O. Turney Memorial Scholarship

For a student (s) planning to pursue a career as a teacher.

Michael Pomerantz Memorial Scholarship

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.

Bill E. Paney Memorial Scholarship

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.

Shirley Hall Memorial Scholarship

Head Counselor and A.P. at VHS 1970 – 1988

Direction of scholarship – Business, Administration, Teaching.

Leonard Gottlieb Memorial Scholarship

Leonard Gottlieb was a lifetime supporter of Venice High School.   He was an active member of the Alumni Association serving as president and longtime Board member. Leonard graduated from Venice in 1941. In his senior year at Venice, he was editor of the school newspaper, “The Oarsman and wrote, directed, and produced the senior play.

Leonard lived in Mar Vista with his wife Liz and three children; Tom, Bob & Mary Lou, all of whom graduated from Venice. He was highly committed to civic activities including working as a LA City Council Deputy, helping with political campaigns, Venice Alumni Association and The National Kidney Foundation.

He was an active participant on the Alumni Board and instrumental in establishing their relationship with the California Community Foundation, the organization that safeguards and administers the Association’s $1.5 million scholarship program.

Joe Tachiki Memorial Scholarship

Joe had many dreams; he was a friend to everyone he knew, he helped others willingly, and he hoped to make this world a better place.
Through this fund, we can help other inspiring Venice High students achieve their dreams in his memory, for many years to come.

Download Flyer

Barbara Komatsu Memorial Scholarship

BARBARA KOMATSU taught AP Calculus and Math for 22 years. She was the sponsor of the Chatelaines and Esquires and helped to open the Foreign Language and International Studies Program, as well as the “Friends of Venice Magnet”.

This scholarship will be given yearly as a way to remember Barbara and help get our kids to college!

 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

Print this form and mail it along with your check (payable to "VHSAA" and note which scholarship you want to fund) 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 ('75) Email John. Read an interview with John that explains how the VHSAA Scholarship Fund is managed here.





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We’re loyal to you Venice High School, to thee we will always be true…