How a Gift Changed this Student’s Life - A Letter from Estaban


Every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, members of the community celebrate Giving Tuesday by joining together in support of a cause they believe in. Will you join me this Giving Tuesday, November 28, in helping the children of vineyard and winery workers, like myself, achieve higher education?

As a young child, I remember bathing in a sun-warmed 5-gallon bucket of water at home in Mexico City. We grew up in poverty.

In 2000, my family moved to California where we continued to work in the fields, picking seasonal fruit at 5 am. At the age of 8, I started second grade. The thought of finally being able to learn was both exciting and scary because I did not speak English.

When I became a young dad at the age of 17 my mindset changed drastically, but I still didn’t realize how important school was.

Still picking fruit after high school graduation, my uncle told me that I needed to take advantage of the opportunities available to me and do something bigger. Despite my apprehension about enrolling in the unknown college system, plus the large expense, I took the leap.

It was difficult to manage my time as a full-time parent, full-time employee, and full-time student. The Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship was instrumental in funding my education and connecting me with the wine industry. Support from generous donors like you has given me a career where I can now give back to my community.

I went from being told that I would not graduate high school because my English was not good enough, to holding multiple degrees and certificates in viticulture. Today, I support my family with my dream job as Viticulture Technician at Sea Smoke Vineyard.

Please join me this Giving Tuesday in helping the children of vineyard and winery workers achieve a higher education with a gift to the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship. Click here to make a life-changing impact on a student. 100% of your gift goes directly to the students.

Thank you for helping first-generation college students like me earn a degree to pursue a professional career.


Esteban Garcia
2020-2022 Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholar        
Sea Smoke Vineyard

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