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Corcoran prison staff award scholarships to college-bound teens

Two men and two teenagers stand in front of a prison.
From left are Chief Deputy Warden Martin Gamboa, Zoie Belk, Cheyenne Campbell and Warden Ken Clark.

By Lt. Edward Sanchez

On June 1, California State Prison, Corcoran’s, California Employees Association held its second High Security Mission Scholarship Opportunity Award. The scholarship is awarded to two graduating high school seniors in the amount of $500 each to assist with educational expenses. 

Each applicant had to be a graduating high school senior, and a child or grandchild of a current Corcoran prison employee. Each applicant must be in good academic standing, have at least a 3.0 grade-point average, and must be planning to attend a four-year university, two-year community college or trade school during the 2019 academic school year. 

The winners were required to submit essay questions with specific instructions identifying how they demonstrated effective leadership in school and out, discuss their major and how it relates to their long-term career goals, and describe one personal attribute that sets them apart from the other candidates. 

The organization received several essay packages from students, which were graded by the Warden, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Deputy Warden, Principal, Academic Instructor, and Chief Nurse Executive. The essays were graded for content and development, organization, style and mechanics. 

On June 12, the organization announced the two winners of the scholarship award. First place went to Cheyenne Campbell, daughter of Sgt. James Campbell and Associate Warden Tammy Campbell. The second runner-up was Zoie Belk, daughter of Correctional Counselor Scott Belk and Office Assistant Melissa Belk. Both students achieved the highest scores and were awarded a $500 scholarship.