- Fontana Unified School District
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Fontana Unified IB Diploma Candidate Receives $10,000 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship
FONTANA, CA – When Jurupa Hills High School senior Jennifer Ibarra was young, she used to play teacher with her mom and stuffed animals, dreaming of someday having her own classroom. Ibarra’s love for teaching continued to develop as she grew into an academic leader at school and a Class of 2021 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma candidate.
Ibarra’s path to her dream career has become more financially secure, thanks to a James R. Hoffa Memorial Fund scholarship worth $10,000. Ibarra, a high-achieving scholar with a 4.46 GPA, has completed six IB classes and three Advanced Placement classes and will apply her scholarship toward a double major in education and liberal studies at UC Riverside.
“I am so excited to receive this scholarship and begin my next steps in higher education,” Ibarra said. “It has been a challenging year, but I have received so much support from my teachers, who have helped me keep a positive mindset and stay focused in school. I would love to have this kind of impact in my student’s lives and watch them grow the way I did throughout my school journey.”
Ibarra has honed her teaching skills by taking on leadership positions at Jurupa Hills High. As president of the IB Club, Ibarra has helped students stay on track as Diploma candidates. Ibarra is also a member of Jurupa Hills’ National Honor Society, Key Club and California Scholastic Federation, and was named an AP Scholar as a junior.
In two years on the Jurupa Hills softball team, Ibarra rose to JV captain as a junior, following a year in which she was recognized with the school’s MVP Award, given to one student-athlete each year who exemplifies the Spartan spirit.
Ibarra has devoted her spare time to community service, helping her church with food drives directed toward low-income and homeless families, and mentoring teens suffering from depression, bullying and domestic violence as part of the church’s Genesis Group. Ibarra has also worked to raise money to provide Mexican children who are homeless or orphans with new clothes and toys for Christmas.
“Education, society and human development are my passions,” Ibarra said. “I love to see people succeed. Teaching would be the perfect job for me because it is something I would wake up and be happy to do. Seeing students’ faces light up when they finally understand something, that makes me extremely happy.”
The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund awards scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to high school seniors planning to attend a four-year college or university. The scholarships are available to the children or financial dependents of Teamster members.
“I am overjoyed to see Jennifer receive the James R. Hoffa Scholarship,” Jurupa Hills High School Principal Caroline Labonte said. “Jennifer has grown into a campus leader who is there every day to support her classmates. We are thrilled to see Jennifer realizing her dream to become a teacher, and wish her all the best at college and beyond.”