Leslie Robson | 13th Street
and Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive
|The annual scholarships were given to: (from left) Paola Alvarez, Christina Phillips, (Clarissa) Qing Wang, and Panny Niya Yi Ly.
Photo Leslie Robson
Each year the Farmers Market awards academic scholarships to vendors attending institutions of higher education. The last awards were given out after the DMFM returned to its old location in the new Civic Center (Sandpiper Feb 2019). This time the awards coincide with the beginning of the academic year. Three of the four recipients are continuing from last time.
Paola Alvarez works with her mother, Elizabeth, selling homemade quesadillas and salsa at the Valle Products stand. Paola also has her own business selling honey in the next stand. (Last time she received the grant as Paola Medina.) She attends San Diego Mesa College, taking general prerequisites. Her academic plan is to become fluent in French and a registered nurse.
Panny Nhia Yi Ly has been working at farmers markets since she moved to the US with her family about 8 years ago. She sells bread and pastries with her father, Neng, the baker, on the weekends during the school year and almost every day during the summer. Neng bakes all night and naps in his van while Panny sells the products.
Panny is 16 and a half years old. She was born in France. After taking classes at Mira Costa College during her last two years of high school and in the summer, Panny recently graduated from Mission Vista High School. She attends CSU San Marcos studying computer science. Her plans have changed since February. She used to want to study biology and be a nurse, but has decided that coding would be a better option.
Christina Phillips is the vendor for MKombucha at the market. Her fiancee, Fabian Huertas, is the manager of the DMFM. They will be married in November. She goes to Mira Costa College, taking the last few classes needed to apply to graduate school in Occupational Therapy. She wants to help children with disabilities and seniors facing the physical challenges of growing older.
Qing Wang (Clarissa) received a grant two years ago (Sandpiper Oct 2017). She owns and runs Ray’s Subtropical farm with her husband, Ray in Murrieta. They grow and sell exotic fruits and vegetables, as described in the Sandpiper May 2019. Their son, Dillon, who attends UCSD, works at the DMFM, as well, when school allows.
Clarissa is taking her last prerequisites at Mt San Jacinto College and attained a 4.0 GPA and an Associate degree in Science. She has been accepted into the summer 2020 nursing class at Azusa Pacific University.