Riverbank High School senior Vincent Meras is the first of his family to be on track for college … and he recently got some help to get there.
At a regularly scheduled school board meeting on March 3, the Riverbank Unified School District Board of Trustees hosted a scholarship award ceremony honoring Meras. The scholarship came from the CFW Foundation, established by Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. to provide scholarships to graduating California high school students to pursue their post-secondary education. The scholarship program provides opportunities for graduating students to apply for assistance to attend four year colleges, technical schools, and community colleges that provide programs in their area of interest.
Meras has stayed focused on balancing academics and athletics while at Riverbank High School. He has played basketball for the past four years.
He has also had his share of struggles, with his father in prison and a mother battling drugs. He was raised by his grandmother.
“She took care of me since I was six years old,” said Meras. “Basketball is another factor on why I am successful now because it kept me out of trouble. Coach (varsity coach Jeff) Jennings is like a father figure to me.
“He taught me the value of life and what to do in life and how to be respectful. Basically he taught me how to be a man.”
Meras plans to attend college to pursue a career in business or finance. His interest is in getting the tools so that he can become an entrepreneur.
“Vinny has been a tremendous asset to the Riverbank High School family,” said Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp. “I’ve observed Vinny’s dedicated and passionate approach to success on the basketball court over the last couple of years and feel that he will be highly successful in life by maintaining the same approach after high school.”
The CFW Foundation has committed to providing $500,000 in scholarship awards over time. Approximately $400,000 has been awarded over the last eight years to 208 high school students across California. This 2015 award cycle will provide a total of $50,000 in scholarships to 26 high school students. Scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 per student.
“I have had the opportunity to work with many public school districts to improve and enhance the quality of education for California school children and I am proud to offer this scholarship program,” noted Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. President and CFW Foundation Trustee, Ernesto Flores. “Our program focuses on those students who have overcome challenges and wish to continue their education or training after high school.”
Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. provides a full range of facilities and financial advisory services to school districts throughout the state. Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. has served California school districts for over 25 years and has become one of California’s most recognized financial advisory firms and a leader in the procurement of State aid and administration of local facilities programs.
“Vinny’s gentleman-like characteristics will help him throughout life. I’m thrilled he was selected for the CFW Scholarship,” added Dr. Camp.
For his part, Meras was very appreciative and grateful to receive the scholarship. Through all his adversity, Meras believes that you have to keep moving forward because life is not going to be easy.
“Each challenge that comes to you, just find a solution and go around it because sooner or later if you keep working hard, success will come to you,” expressed Meras. “Our motto here for basketball is nothing given, everything earned.”
News reporter Virginia Still contributed to this article.