Valley eye medical center awards scholarships to 10 Valley graduates

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Graduates in Central California are preparing for their next chapter.

Eye Medical Center of Fresno recently awarded 10 Valley graduates a $500 scholarship to help with any financial barriers.

"I got really excited as this is going to be very helpful," said Enrique Herrera Castaneda, a Clovis North High School graduate. "No one's just going to give you $500 for free. So I was really thankful for that."

The Eye Medical Center received an overwhelming response of applications, which included an essay about the importance of education.

"It's a place where you can build friends, social cues, and just so many opportunities for you to join classes and just find your passions in life," said Clovis High School graduate Desirae Aldana.

Rileigh Armstrong, from Clovis West High School, added: "It shapes who we are and helps us to just be better people out in the world."

Aldana, Armstrong and Castaneda said they're excited for college but know it's not cheap -- which is why this scholarship means a lot.

"We know college and education is very important and every little bit helps," said Robert Frediani, CEO of the Eye Medical Center. "This $500 can go towards books, towards tuition, towards whatever they need to be successful in college."

Frediani said the center strives to always give back to the community they serve. This year, there was no question about how they could help local students.
For the scholarship recipients, they said they're grateful.

"It definitely feels like a weight is off my shoulders," Armstrong said.

"I got this and now I can move forward," said Aldana.

Some graduates are grateful for the center in more ways than one.

"These glasses are from here," said Castaneda with smile. "Thank you for that too!"

A full list of the scholarship recipients can be found here.

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