Four Exceptional PUSD Students Honored at The Shakespeare Club’s 61st Annual Scholarship Luncheon

From left to right: Elizabeth Pomeroy, PUSD President; Barbara Sakuma. Shakespeare Club President; Terry Tornek, Pasadena MayorFrom Left to Right: Carole Caputo, Blair High School Counselor; Mariella Diab D’Avirro, Blair recipient; Maribell Dominguez, John Marshall High School Counselor; Julio Urrutia, John Marshall recipient; Erika Linares, Pasadena High School Counselor; Tiffany Balbuena, PHS recipient; Cecilia Valle, John Muir High School recipient, Alejandra Diaz, John Muir High School Pathway Counselor.Bottom Row; From Left to Right: Mariella Diab D’Avirro, Blair recipient; Julio Urrutia, John Marshall recipient; Tiffany Balbuena, PHS recipient; Cecilia Valle, John Muir High School recipient. Top Row: From Left to Right; Barbara Sakuma, Shakespeare Club President; Lori Ely, Scholarship Luncheon Co-Chair; Elizabeth Pomeroy, PUSD Board President; Monica Forgey, Club Philanthropy Chair; Annette Arce, Scholarship Luncheon Co-Chair.

Article and Photography by SHIRLEY BONE

11:02 am | June 4, 2015

On May 19th the Shakespeare Club of Pasadena held their 61st Annual Scholarship Luncheon to honor four exceptional graduating seniors from high schools in the Pasadena Unified School District. The four deserving graduates were presented with scholarships in the amount of $2000.00 to help with their continued education next year.

The afternoon started with a warm welcome and introductions from Barbara Sakuma, Shakespeare Club President. She introduced Terry Tornek, Pasadena Mayor who shared his words of inspiration and congratulations to the Graduates. Following a delicious lunch, prepared by Cynthia Brooks Catering of Pasadena, Shakespeare Club Philanthropy Chairman Monica Forgey congratulated the graduates and introduced Annette Arce, Shakespeare Club Scholarship Committee Co-Chair. Annette introduced each of the graduates and presented them with their awards. Their counselors or representatives were introduced, the recipients are selected by each of the school’s counselors based on the requirements set forth by the Shakespeare Club.

The program of the day was a Monologue presented by graduate, Mariella Diab D’Avirro, Blair High School recipient. It was a passionate letter written as an appeal to Pathos, in response to Steven Lewis’s speech “Aids has a Woman’s Face”. Following the Monologue, each of the recipients addressed the group and spoke a little about themselves and their plans for the future. Mariella, will be attending Drew University in New Jersey and will be studying International and Women’s Studies, she plans to Major in Political Science and someday join the United Nations. From John Marshall High School, Julio Urrutia was selected. He has been tutoring at Madison Elementary and will be studying at Cal State LA where he plans to Major in Communications and Human Relations. The student selected from John Muir High School was Cecilia Valle. This young lady will be furthering her education at UC Irvine and will be majoring in Engineering. She has a passion for reading and writing, and has worked on and greatly expanded the school’s newspaper, the Blazer. Tiffany Balbuena was selected from the graduates at Pasadena High School. She is an advocator for “Day 1 – Events for Youth” as well as a representative for Animal Rights and Rescue. She plans to attend Cal Poly Pomona to study Animal Studies and then on the Veterinary School. Upon conclusion of the graduates presentation, Elizabeth Pomeroy, PUSD Board President was introduced. She also offered her congratulations and words of encouragement to the graduates.

This marks the 61st year that the Shakespeare Club has awarded scholarships. They are made possible by the hard work of the Shakespeare Club’s Philanthropy and Benefit/Drama Departments. In March the Benefit/Drama Committee presented “Nunsense; the Mega Musical” and the Philanthropy Department held their annual Fashion Show with an Afternoon Tea in April. The proceeds from these events fund the scholarship fund. Each Christmas the Club donates toys and clothing to needy children and raises monies for worthy non-profit organizations year-round.

For more information about the Shakespeare Club’s events, benefits, past productions and membership, please visit their website: