Silvia Baltazar Sebastian - 2023 Johnston/Lesar Scholarship

I will be attending Benedictine University in Mesa.  I am majoring in Nutrition and Wellness.  I chose this career because it will provide me an in-depth education in the kinds of foods and components that work together to create long-lasting health benefits.  The philosophy I live by is, "Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence."  



Ashley Gonzalez Gonzalez - 2023 Ordinary Extraordinary Award

As a 2023 high school graduate, I hope to gain helpful experience from my college journey, learning to be resilient as well as educated.  I hope to someday be a pediatrician.  I have decided upon this path, because since I was a child I have always wanted to have the opportunity to help children because they are truly our future. I live by the mantra that it is better to give out good to the world as it will always make its way back to you.



Karina D. Beltran - 2023 Ordinary Extraordinary Award

As a college-motivated student, I am happy to say I have no regrets in life that got me here. To all my friends, family, and amazing teachers who believed in me and supported me all the way to high school graduation, I would have lost my way if it wasn't for you. I am going to continue my education in finance and business, starting with MCC and then transferring to ASU; with the help of these two majors, I want to be part of something successful so in the end I can finally reach my dream of help ing teens and young adults achieve their future dreams. I saw myself in many different majors, but when looking at my dream, I knew which major to take and it is the perfect match. I hope in the future, I will become a better leader so I may help others, as others have done for me. 



Alexander Espinoza - 2022 Ordinary Extraordinary Award

My name is Alexander Espinoza. I live here in Arizona but was also raised in Florida for about seven years. I come from a big family so being part of huge groups is nothing new to me. I’m a huge extrovert which makes me love meeting and talking to new people. I’m very excited to be the first in my family to go to a university and proud to say I’ll be part of Arizona State University studying Interior Design program.



Nadine Makarem - 2022 Johnston/Lesar Scholarship

I have chosen to study political science at Arizona State University because I have always been passionate about government and policy, such as gender equality and education. I am interested in learning more about how the American legal system works and how I can be a part of it. I have other interests, as well. For example, last summer I enjoyed volunteering at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. There I worked with children in the exploration station, an exhibit dedicated to hands on activities that help spur children’s interest in science.



Desirae Childers - 2022 Westwood Future Educator Award

I have been inspired to become a teacher because of the teachers I had at Westwood High School and Carson Junior High.  The teachers around me always showed compassion and understanding for their students.  They weren’t just teachers; they were a listening ear when needed and a helping hand when I failed.  I hope to pass that on when I become an art teacher and create an open classroom where students can express themselves in a safe environment.  The art teachers I have had always let me express who I am and directed me to a brighter future.



Monica Carpenter - 2021 Ordinary Extraordinary Award

My name is Monica Carpenter and I will be a 2021 graduate of Westwood High School. I plan on attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs as a Business major this fall. I am currently an International Baccalaureate (IB) student as well as a member of the Drama Club and the Young Athena group. My outlook on life can best be explained by  Dr. Martin Luther King's most persistent and urgent question: "What are you doing for others?" As the oldest of 6 children I understand the importance of sacrifice and helping others as I assist my parents in caring for my siblings. I want to thank the committee for this great honor as I move forward in my college career.



Evelyn Nonthe Sanchez - 2020 Johnston/Lesar Scholarship

Hello my name is Evelyn Nonthe Sanchez. I am a latina first generation college student. My motto is “Do Good & Be Better”. I love my family and consider myself a music enthusiast. I will be majoring in psychology. My schooling plan is to start out at Mesa Community College for two years and then transfer to Arizona State University. Something I believe that makes me ordinary extraordinary is my community engagement as well as my leadership resume. My most proud accomplishment was during the holiday season of 2020. As Silent Friends Club President I was able to raise over $1,300 dollars for Westwood Families in need of Holiday cheer. We were able to shop and deliver gifts that the families had written on a wishlist prior. I loved being able to give back. My ambition and drive come from my two childhood friends who during my junior year of high school committed suicide due to their mental health. My heart was broken and the reality of mental health problems hit me even harder. My days would go from recovery to sad to confused to stressed then back to recovery. With the help of friends and family, I was able to grief healthily and find peace. I found myself heavily interested in the human mind regarding mental health. In the future, I want to help teenagers in need of my services and help save a life as well as help them see their own beauty. As a professional, I will continue to give back to my local community with my services. Remember always to look for the light in darkness.



Arthur J. (AJ) Levario - 2020 Ordinary Extraordinary Award

I am a 2020 Westwood High School graduate. I joined AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college prep program, and I played baseball all four years and loved every minute of it. Both of these experiences taught me to push myself on and off the field. Now I look forward to the next level of play— college. I will be attending Mesa Community College first and Arizona State University second, with the goal of completing a degree in business with an emphasis in real estate. My mission in life is to help people find their dream home where they can build families and memories.



Midory Otáñez - 2018 Johnston/Lesar Scholarship Award

Midory Fernanda Otáñez Murrieta is currently a full-time college student at Scottsdale Community College. She happens to be a DACA recipient and has taken full advantage of the benefits it has brought to her. Midory states,

"Yes, it can be hard at times but it will be worth it in the end." She is attending school in the hopes of completing her Hospitality and Tourism bachelor's degree. She has worked hard to get where she is. Not only is

she attending school, but she also works as a chef at the catering company ChefaGogo. Here she pursues her passion in the kitchen and hopes to advance her culinary art skills.


Midory would love to eventually run a restaurant and start her own someday. In order to prepare for her future she is constantly working and studying. Not only has she done all of the above, but she competed in and achieved 8th place in the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) cake competition. She has done projects to help her community as well, by helping teachers during summer school and organizing events through the Culinary club. Midory hopes to continue to grow and excel in both her culinary and hospitality aspects of her career.

Janet Romero - 2017 Johnston/Lesar Scholarship

My name is Janet Romero and I am a senior at Westwood High School. My goal is to attend a  two year community college and then transfer to  a state university where I plan to major in biology and minor in chemistry and then attend medical school.


I want to be a pediatrician. The reasons for this choice are first, I love science and I’ve wanted to become a doctor, and second, because I love kids. They have the most creative and imaginative minds and having a career in which I am with them all day and helping to insure they have happy and productive lives would be a dream come true.


Thank you again for your support.



Micheala Roberts - 2016 J.D. Bowman Award

My name is Micheala Roberts, and I want to thank you so much for your donation to this scholarship. I plan on attending Arizona State University after graduating from Westwood High School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program. As of now, I do not have a determined major, but my hope is to find an area of study that will allow me to find a career that gives back to the community and helps people, in general.


I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to go to college, mainly because I did not know how I was going to be able to afford the costs associated with attending college that tuition doesn’t cover. Your generous help insures that I will have an opportunity to meet my college graduation goal.


Thank you again for your support.







Habigail (Abby) Nonthe - 2016 Ordinary Extraordinary Award

My name is Habigail, and I want to thank you so much for your donation to this scholarship. Your generous help will allow me to realize my dream of a college education after graduating from Westwood High School.


As a Mexican-American I am strongly committed to giving back to my community whose heritage I so strongly embrace, volunteering weekly through my school, church and family. I have been involved with the Westwood community, as well as a member of clubs and the Early Education program. I also play violin in the school orchestra.


I plan on attending Mesa Community College this fall after graduation, eventually majoring in Business through NAU's unique 90/30 program.


Thank you again for your support.



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