Southwestern College Students Win Prestigious Women in California Leadership Scholarship

Photo of Southwestern College student Jenai Funk.
Southwestern College student Jenai Funk.

Two Southwestern College students have been selected for the prestigious 2020 Minerva Scholarship from the Women in California Leadership. Jenai Funk and Anna Sanchez will each be awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their educational accomplishments and roles as student leaders at Southwestern College.

Funk and Sanchez are only a handful of community college students to receive the scholarship and share this distinction with students from colleges and universities throughout California, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford and USC. Out of the more than 1,000 students across California who applied, only 81 received the award. The scholarship was created by the Women in California Leadership organization to empower and enhance the lives of women and help them achieve their educational goals.

Funk, a recipient of Southwestern College’s Student of Distinction Award, holds many Southwestern College leadership roles. At Southwestern College, she has served as a senator in the Associated Student Organization, president of the Creative and Performing Arts Club, vice president and member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

“Winning the Minerva Scholarship encourages me to push on as a woman leader in education, art, government and business,” Funk said. “It is a privilege to have received this award along with Anna Sanchez, an amazing woman, student, leader, wife and mother. I want to thank all those who have supported me throughout this journey at Southwestern College.”

Sanchez is the president and founder of Mothers and Mother-Scholars, a student-led club and support group that focuses on womxn, parent issues and uniting student-mothers at Southwestern College. She is also the coordinator of the Puente Drum Circle, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the sociology club.

“It was a great honor for myself, a first-generation, 36-year-old mother of five beautiful children and a nontraditional student to receive this scholarship,” Sanchez said. “It is an even greater honor to see my name among other powerful women, with powerful stories ready to bring change to our society.”

The Women in California Leadership is a Sacramento-based nonprofit charitable organization that promotes public awareness of the critical significance of women in California.