Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is elated to offer $65,500 in 2023 college scholarships to exceptional students who reside in the San Diego area and have participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds in previous years.

The deadline to apply is Midnight on April 1, 2024. Eligibility details and applications are at

Scholarships are offered in six categories. Individual awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Scholarships of $5,000, $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 will be awarded in each of four categories: Zable Foundation 4-H; FFA; Employee; and Exhibitor/Participant.

A $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship will be awarded to the most outstanding $5,000 recipient from one of the above categories for a total $10,000 award.

One $3,500, one $3,000, and nine $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to 4-H or FFA student who have participated in the Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction.

Two $2,500 Vocational Education scholarships will be awarded to qualifying students who intend to earn an AA/AS degree or certificate at a community college or accredited trade school.

Don Diego Chairman Stephen Shewmaker states, “Several 2023 scholarships represent legacy gifts in the form of Endowed Named Scholarships established by Board members and friends of Don Diego as well as perennial donors such as the Zable Foundation and Charity Fair Horse Show. Together, all of the scholarships will help fuel the winners of our highly competitive selection process as they achieve success in college, pursue worthwhile careers, and give back to their community, and the world. We eagerly look forward to receiving applications!”

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation was named for Don Diego, AKA Tom Hernandez, who served as the Fair’s welcoming goodwill ambassador from 1947-1984. Since its inception in 1986, the Foundation has awarded $1,276,844 in scholarships to 362 students and in agriculture education grants. More information is at and