students at work

SCHOLARSHIP WORK — Students in Healdsburg High School’s AVID 12 class in 2017, work on online scholarship applications, polishing their resumes and writing essays. From left to right: Amari Giron, Stephanie Hippolito, Edna Ochoa, Matias Lopez and Juan Aguilar. This year to celebrate scholarship recipients, the high school is creating a special video in recognition of award winners.

Healdsburg High School (HHS) is going to celebrate its 52 scholarship award winners and 21 alumni scholarship recipients with a special video set to be released sometime the first week of June.

Instead of the annual scholarship awards night, the school’s scholarship and work-based learning coordinator, Shelley Anderson, is working with her daughter to create a special video with messages from scholarship providers and a recognition of scholarship recipients with names and photos.

“The video is going to be a lot like what scholarship night would have been like at The Raven. I asked each of the donors to prepare a one-minute video talking a little bit about their scholarship, their organization and why they chose the students who received their award,” Anderson said. In the video they will also be announcing all of the names of students who received an award.

While most of the one-minute segments have been self-filmed, Anderson and her daughter Laura, who’s an HHS graduate with experience in digital filmmaking, have been visiting some donor organizations to help them film a unique message.

“We stand six feet away and film some of the videos for them, and we’ve been collecting all of those videos over the past few weeks,” Anderson said. Since Laura is busy with online college classes at Cal Poly and two jobs, Anderson said she is “super thankful” to have her daughter’s help with the project.

Anderson is also collecting photos of all of the scholarship recipients, so their photos will be featured in the video. The photo can either be a photo of their choosing, their graduation photo or a senior photo if they’ve had one taken with their families.

“Some used the portrait with the tux or the drape, and some of them sent me a picture of them wearing their college swag. Other ones just had really nice senior pictures that they had done with their family, so it is going to be a combination,” Anderson said.

Anderson is hoping to launch the video the first week of June on the high school’s Facebook page and YouTube account. She said if students want their own copy of the video, she will convert it onto a thumb drive and hand it out.

This year the school has awarded almost $450,000 in scholarships, which is down a little from last, Anderson said, thanks to the pandemic.

“That being said, there were also a couple of other organizations who said ‘We have the money, and we are going to give more this year,’” Anderson said. She said there were about four organizations that wanted to give more because of everything the 2020 class has had to go through.

“It’s been a rough four years pretty much,” Anderson said. 2017 saw the Tubbs Fire, “And in 2018 even though the fire was up in Chico, we had to close for days because of the smoke. We had that big flood, and now this year has been cuckoo.”

Even though the senior class could not have their regular awards night, Anderson said the video is still a way to recognize them, and the pivot to change is a good opportunity for teaching resiliency.

“There are things we want to teach kids like resiliency and grit, that we have a hard time teaching at school, but for these guys experiencing, this will teach them those kinds of things. It is an experience that they will talk to their children and their grandchildren about, that they lived through it and how it affected their lives,” she said.

She said the video is also important because it recognizes the hard work that students have done to get to this point in their lives.

“A lot of these seniors have put four hard years of very rigorous academics, hundreds of hours of community service, and they need to be recognized for that,” she said. 

To keep up-to-date on when the scholarship video will be launched, visit the high school’s website or Facebook page,

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