Cox Charities Surprises Five Deserving High School Seniors in Honor of Foundation’s 20th Anniversary

It was a morning of anticipation as Cox Charities hosted its annual Cox Scholars celebration at Glenn Annie Golf Club in Goleta on June 12, 2019. Five recent high school graduates from the Santa Barbara area received scholarships to help defray college costs.

This year, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Cox Charities awarded a total of $11,000 in scholarships to five students. Cox Charities is the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications and is funded by employee donations, matched by Cox, and overseen by an advisory board consisting of employees who volunteer their time. In Santa Barbara, more than 65 percent of Cox employees are Cox Charities members, meaning they donate a self-determined amount per paycheck to support the community. Additionally, in the Santa Barbara region, Cox Charities has awarded more than $120,000 in college scholarships to date.

Our scholarship program is very important to our employees who love reviewing the applications and learning about the impressive accomplishments of our local students,” said Kirsten McLaughlin, Market Vice President in Santa Barbara “This year, Cox Charities celebrates its 20th anniversary in California and 20 years of employees giving back to the community, which makes these scholarships even more special.”

At the event, McLaughlin recognized elected representatives in attendance including Mayor of Goleta Paula Perotte and Goleta Concilmember Roger Aceves, Jesse Ebadi of Congressman Salud Carbajal’s office, Hannah Sullivan, representative of the office of Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Stephani Ramirez Zarate of Assemblymember Monique Limon’s office and Ashley Kruzel attending on behalf County Supervisors Gregg Hart and Das Williams. These officials also provided certificates for the scholars.

The Cox Scholars program is open to graduating high school seniors who live in a Cox service area and meet various academic and community service criteria. For more information on the Cox Scholars program, visit

Meet the 2019 Cox Scholars

The students were selected based on their academic success, community service, leadership and commitment to their education. The 2019 Cox Scholars for Santa Barbara are:

Arman Banan recently graduated from San Marcos High School and will be proudly attending the University of Southern California in the Fall. As a high school student Arman co-founded a student led volunteer organization called “Teens on the Scene” working with several philanthropies across the city. Arman is an accomplished volleyball player and worked as class treasurer of San Marcos High School which is good practice for his goal of becoming an investment manager. Armon credits his mom with inspiring him to pursue this career path.

Santa Barbara High School graduate Jaqueline (Jackie) Heras Mejia will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall and is interested in pursuing a career as a pediatrician. She interested in this career because of her passion for the human body. She was inspired by her mom who wanted to pursue a career in nursing. Her mother couldn’t accomplish her goal since college was a luxury she couldn’t afford at the time. Jackie’s parents left Oaxaca, Mexico so she could have opportunity at life in the United States. In college, she is most looking forward to meeting new people, living in a new city and expanding her knowledge of the world. Jackie is inspired to volunteer in the community because she has seen how important it is to give back to the community.

Jennifer Quito Alvarez, also a recent graduate from Santa Barbara High School, will be attending the University of Southern California this Fall. She is excited to pursue her bachelors degree and license in Architecture at USC’s School of Architecture’s 5-year bachelor program. She hopes to combine her love for the arts with her love for environmental science with focus on sustainable design. She also hopes to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to fight housing issues here and abroad. She is an accomplished musician—performing on the flute, vibraphone and marimba. She plans to join USC’s marching band – The Spirt of Troy.

Dos Pueblos High School graduate Michael Diaz will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall to study Political Science. Michael is most passionate about social justice issues which has inspired his volunteer work in the community. As the Secretary for the Santa Barbara Youth Council he helped resolve pressing issues affecting the youth in our community. Michael plans to pursue a career with the United Nations and is interested in becoming a Political Science professor. He is most excited about making new friends and exploring new internships to help his career goals.

Tiffany Garcia recently graduated from San Marcos High School. She will be attending George Washington University in the fall as a Political Communications major. She is interested in in becoming a campaign manager. She first became interested in politics while helping her grandmother study to gain her citizenship. Tiffany believes it is important to provide a voice and representative to those who are forgotten. She is most excited about joining college programs like the campus newspaper. She also plans to be involved in the Civic House, which is an academic residential community for political communication students. Tiffany enjoys volunteering and staying involved in her community. She sees every interaction, big or small, as impactful. She wants to continue making a positive impact.


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