The application process is now closed.

Good luck to all!

2021 Don Diego Scholarships

Deadline to apply: midnight on March 29, 2021.

  Overview

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for outstanding high school seniors and graduates who participate in activities and events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, including the San Diego County Fair. Scholarship winners demonstrate talent for organization, leadership and innovation and make a valuable contribution to the community through participation in events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, their school and extracurricular activities.

Four scholarships are offered in each of four categories: Zable Foundation 4-H, FFA, Employee, and Exhibitor/ Participant. Eight Junior Livestock Auction (JLA) Scholarships are offered to students who qualify for the 4-H or FFA Scholarship and who wish to apply also for a JLA Scholarship. Two Vocational Education Scholarships are offered to support students pursuing an AA/AS degree or certificate at a community college or accredited trade school. The $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship is bestowed upon one of the most exceptional of all 2021 recipients. A $5,000 Liss Family Scholarship renewable for three additional years of college will be awarded to an outstanding candidate, for a four-year total of $20,000.

Categories are below.

Scholarship Applications and Awards

Zable Foundation 4-H Scholarship

  • $5,000 $2,500
    $1,500 $1,000
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate applying for/accepted at a college. Applicant must be a member in good standing of 4-H and have participated (not necessarily during the applying year) in a competitive exhibit department at the San Diego County Fair.

FFA Scholarship

  • $5,000 $2,500
    $1,500 $1,000
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate applying for/accepted at a college. Applicant must be a member in good standing of FFA and have participated (not necessarily during the applying year) in a competitive exhibit department at the San Diego County Fair.

JLA Scholarship

  • $3,500 $2,500
    $1,000 6 Awards
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate applying for/accepted at a college. Applicant must meet 4-H or FFA eligibility requirements and participate in the Junior Livestock Auction at the San Diego County Fair.

Employee Scholarship

  • $5,000 $2,500
    $1,500 $1,000
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate applying for/accepted at a college. Applicant must show verification of employment (prior to the applying year) by the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Premier Food Services or contractor of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Exhibitor/Participant Scholarship

  • $5,000 $2,500
    $1,500 $1,000
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate applying for/accepted at a college. Applicant must have participated (prior to the applying year) in a competitive exhibit department or as an entertainer in the special events department at the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar National Horse Show or other equestrian event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and/or Horsepark.

Vocational Education Scholarship

  • $2,500
    2 Awards
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate applying for/accepted at a college or certificate program. Applicant must have participated (prior to the applying year) in an event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds or Horsepark, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club or as an employee of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club or contractor of the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Scholarship Applications

You may apply in one scholarship category only. Complete the appropriate application for the scholarship you are applying for. Be sure to save it to your computer.

Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship Application

4-H Scholarship Application

FFA Scholarship Application

Employee Scholarship Application

Exhibitor/Participant Scholarship Application

Vocational/Technical Scholarship Application

Scholars’ Testimonials

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation recipients are matriculating at prestigious colleges around the country, excelling at exciting careers nationwide and making a difference in our community.

AlyshaStehly-Vesper-Vineyards

“The Foundation means more than just scholarships. It supports the future of agriculture by encouraging students to pursue educational opportunities that will sustain the industry into a new era.”

Alysha Stehly, 2003 Don Diego recipient and current Board member, co-owns Valley Center-based Vesper Vineyards with her husband, Chris Broomell.

“This generous scholarship is helping me delve into my two passions for STEM and art at MIT. I am working toward using bioengineering to help better human healthcare. Thank you, Don Diego!”

2017 Don Diego recipient
Jessica Xu.

“I joined the San Diego Fire Cadet program at age 16, volunteered with the Del Mar Fire Department and participated as an ER Ride Along at the Fairgrounds. This Vocational Education scholarship will help me achieve the firefighter career of my dreams.”

2019 Don Diego recipient
Nick LaRocco.

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Don Diego Scholarship Foundation can continue to provide scholarships to more future leaders of our community.
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2015 Scholarship Criteria

Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Student must be a resident of San Diego County and a senior in high school with anticipation of graduating no later than July 31, 2015.
  • Scholarship must be used toward recipient’s education at a four-year institution or a two-year college where course work is completed in anticipation of transferring to a four year college or university is to be pursued. Upon receiving student’s verification of enrollment, a check for the scholarship amount will be sent to the Financial Aid Office of the designated college. The Vocational Education scholarship must be used to pursue a skilled trade curriculum at a community college or accredited trade school. 
  • Scholarship must be used by the recipient within four years. If the full amount of the scholarship is not used in that time, the recipient must apply for an extension, or the scholarship will be returned to the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation.

2015 Application Process

The 2015 application deadline is March 16, 2015.

STEP 1    Review eligibility requirements and access application online.

STEP 2    Download and complete the PDF application and upload it online (preferable) or email it to cmannen@sdfair.com. If you prefer you may print the PDF and mail the completed application.

STEP 3    Email or mail a certified copy of your high school transcript as noted on the application.

STEP 4    Email or mail two letters of recommendation as noted on the application.

NOTE:     ALL materials – including application, transcript and letters of recommendation –MUST be received/postmarked by March 16, 2015.

Questions? Contact Executive Director Chana Mannen by email or phone: 858.792.4210

The 2015 Scholarship Application Deadline Has Passed.
Good luck to all applicants!