Mark Escamilla (from left), Mary McQueen, Tim Legamaro, Cindy Legamaro and Julio Reyes unveil the ceremonial check announcing the scholarship on April 14.

First-generation Del Mar College students now have another opportunity to help pay for their education thanks to a new scholarship.

The Legamaro Family Endowed Scholarship is a $1 million gift in appreciated stock that will be used to support first-generation students in specialized fields of study.

“This will take students all the way through their programming here at Del Mar, particularly in those areas that help get good jobs in the community,” said Mary McQueen, executive director of development for the Del Mar College Foundation, when making the announcement on April 14. “It also can help them through a bachelor program, so this is also a very unusual scholarship that they are really trying to help people obtain their dreams.”

Students who receive the scholarship are able to continue receiving funds if they continue their education at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi or in Kingsville. 

The scholarship also gives preference to students who have graduated from Flour Bluff High School since the Legamaro family lived and raised their family in the Flour Bluff community.

Occupational therapy assistant student Brittany Jones, who spoke at the event, is one of the first 14 students to receive the scholarship, which will be able to help 10-15 students per year with a tuition-free education.

“It has made a world of difference,” Jones said. “I am a student who is completely dependent on financial aid in order to go to school.”

Jones, who worked to support her family while her husband went to school to pursue a career in physical therapy, said now the roles are reversed as her husband is now the sole bread winner while she is in school.

“Having this scholarship and this opportunity has helped tremendously,” Jones said. “It has helped us to make ends meet when we would have otherwise not been able to.”

“It has given me the opportunity to actually finish this degree that I wanted to rather than to have to put things on hold, work and wait,” Jones said.

Each year, the foundation awards between $1.4 million and $1.9 million in scholarships and helps between 1,400 and 1,700 students.

“I would definitely tell students to contact the DMC Foundation because of opportunities like this,” Jones said. “I was not aware of how many opportunities there are out there and I have truly been blessed to have received this scholarship.”

Students can apply for scholarships by logging on to delmar.edu/foundation/scholarships/index.html. 

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