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    Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation Congratulates 7 Students Awarded With Rodney Fernandez Leadership Fund Scholarships

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    News Release

    the 2021 CEDC Scholarship Awardees

    (VENTURA COUNTY, Calif.) –  The Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (Cabrillo EDC) recognized 7 graduating high school seniors and college students for their academic achievements and pursuits with Rodney Fernandez Leadership Fund (RFLF) Scholarships 


    2021 proved to be a challenging year for continuing college students and graduating high school seniors transitioning to college. A recent survey conducted by  EdWeek Research Center showed “students from low-income families were more likely than those from higher-income households to suffer disruptions in their college plans or to have had family members infected with COVID-19″.  


    The continued impact of the COVID19 pandemic left many local Ventura County students looking for community scholarship support to help bridge the financial gap needed to attend college in the fall. The volunteers that serve on the RFLF committee and CEDC staff continue to be amazed by the talent and leadership skills of our 2021 RFLF recipients,” said Margarita H. de Escontrias, Chief Executive Officer at Cabrillo EDC. “The last two years have been a challenge, but each of these young scholars have shown tremendous determination and  a passion for learning. We are excited and honored to be a small part of their educational journey and look forward to their continued success.” 


    The RFLF was created in 2011 and honors the legacy of Rodney Fernandez, Cabrillo EDC’s founding Executive Director for 30 years (1981–2011). The scholarship continues Fernandez’s legacy of community building by cultivating the leadership of residents to attain their goals and empower themselves to take action to improve the quality of life in their communities. 

    Jaime Arreola, 2021 RFLF recipient and resident of Villa Cesar Chavez is pursuing a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “I hope to set an example to everyone that no matter what your background is, how much you struggle, there is always a way to thrive. “ 

    The RFLF Scholarship awarded a total of $14,500 to its recipients, with $10,000 provided by MUFG Union Bank, and $4,500 from individual donations. 

    “Because I am the first in my family to graduate from high school, I will also be the first member in my family to graduate from a four-year university,” said Mireya Avila Mejia, student recipient of the RFLF Scholarship. “Pursuing higher education will set an example for my younger brother to follow. This will demonstrate to my brother and others that regardless of your economic and social status, an education is achievable if one has the determination and passion to pursue it.” 

    To learn more or to donate to the RFLF Scholarship fund, please visit 



    We could not do this without the support of our generous donors including Union Bank and our community members,” said H. de Escontrias, “One of CEDC’s missions, is to create a foundation for our residents to grow and thrive – the RFLF scholarship program helps us achieve that mission by helping residents achieve their higher education and vocational training goals. 



    Full List of the 2021 RFLF Scholarship Recipients 








    BS in Mechanical Engineering 

    Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo 



    Avila Mejia 

    BS/MS Nursing 





    BS in Construction Management 

    Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo 




    Bachelor in Early Childhood Studies 





    Bachelor in Business Management Economics  


    UC Santa Cruz 




    Bachelors in Business 

    With an emphasis in Finance 






    Associates Degree 

    Ventura College 



    About Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation  

    The Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation has been making dreams come true, one home at a time, since 1981. Proud to be the largest developer of affordable homes in Ventura County, Cabrillo’s success is the result of decades of passion, dedication and vision. With a mission of providing comprehensive housing services and community economic development activities, Cabrillo facilitates self-sufficiency for individuals and families who are most lacking in opportunity. At Cabrillo, home is more than a place to live – it is the cornerstone of the community’s economic, environmental and social wellbeing.

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