“The biggest inheritance that I’m going to leave you…”

The Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship gives the children of farm and winery working families access to higher education. Since the program began in 2015, 98 percent of recipients have been first-generation college students. This community-funded program is inspired by Juan to better the lives of the upcoming generation.

“You need to have a degree.”

Mia, daughter of Juan Nevarez, heard it all of her life. “Education opens doors and will help you to become self-sufficient. People won’t take you seriously without it, and you’ll have to work extra hard to demonstrate that you know what you know.”

The importance of obtaining a college education was a common subject in the home. Growing up, Mia says college was never an option, “it was something that was going to happen!” Mia’s father would tell her that an education isn’t just about the piece paper, rather, its proof of someone’s ability to accomplish something through hard work and dedication.

Through school, Mia was pushed to do whatever it took to get good grades. There was pressure to get in to college, pressure to get good grades, and pressure to get it done in four years. Juan wanted his daughter to dedicate herself to doing her best and pushing herself to earn what he knew she could. He would tell her, “You learn the worth of money when you work for it,” and that “without an education and work ethic, you can’t earn money.”

Mia’s father built his 110-acre vineyard piece-by-piece through hard work alone. He didn’t start his career with a college degree that could speak for his expertise and open doors to a career. His success had to be earned the hard way. Although his decades of hard labor proved fruitful, he didn’t want the same journey for his children. He didn’t want them to have to face his same challenges and struggle as hard as he did in order to become self-sufficient. Now, Mia is grateful to her father for pushing her to do her best.

Give Back

First-generation students have more barriers when it comes to attaining higher education – they cannot ask their parents how to navigate the system, budgets are often tight, and they can feel guilty for leaving their families.

This year, $1.3 million dollars was raised by Must! Charities to benefit the upcoming generation. While this is an incredible step towards bettering the future of even more students, Vineyard Team will need to raise funding to match a portion of the Must! Investment. This is why contributions from the community continue to be essential to the success of the scholarship program.

We need your help to take this program to the next level to have an even greater impact. Click “Donate” below today to help us enrich the lives of the upcoming generation.

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