College costs can hurt, so the Natomas Schools Foundation is doing its best to ease the pain a little for a handful of standout 12th-graders.

The nonprofit group gave away $6,500 in college scholarships this week and plans to award another $2,500 in coming days or weeks.

Scholarships of $1,000 apiece were presented to Mateo Ramirez, Olivia Johnson and Owen Wurgler.

Twelve $500 scholarships also were given away, to Mikaela Carrillo, Madelyn Peterson, Sarah Jacobs-Luttrell, Alyssa Wagner, Brenda Hernandez, Kelly Anne Lumaquin, Melissa Loupeda, Brian Dudley, Maya Gorman, Keyleigh Nealon, Daniel Lan and Victoria Vera.

NSF scholarships are designed to further the education of students who not only have shown promise academically but have a solid work ethic and/or go out of their way to serve their campus or community.

Applicants were required to have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher and, during the past two years, have served 50 hours or more in formal employment or volunteers service, which would include clubs. A short essay was required about lessons learned from that service.

Scholarship funds can be used toward expenses at a two-year college, four-year college or trade school.

The Natomas Schools Foundation is a nonprofit group committed to raising funds to benefit students and schools within NUSD boundaries. Separate from the monetary scholarships, the foundation recently awarded Chromebooks to 15 deserving youth in 5th grade or higher who needed them to maintain or enhance academic performance.

The foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser is the Natomas 5K “Run for Their Future,” which will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Inderkum High School.

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