Staff Report

Five local students have each received $3,000 scholarships from the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Auxiliary as they begin or continue their education in health or medical-related fields.

This year’s scholarship winners are new Santa Ynez High School graduates Lilly Lopez, Arrianna Martinez and Sophie Monterrosa, and Santa Barbara City College students Megan Elbert and Nicholas Briceno.

The awards were made May 25 at the auxiliary’s annual “Thank You Picnic” lunch at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum.

Funds for four of the scholarships came from the proceeds of the auxiliary’s New to You thrift shop in downtown Solvang. The fifth came from the first-time Ann Bertero Scholarship established through the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation.

Bertero’s daughter, Lisa Palmer, and son-in-law, Steve Palmer, have established the fund with support from their family to honor her memory and encourage others to pursue careers in nursing.

“My mother was a devoted auxiliary volunteer for more than a decade, and a lifetime hospital volunteer in all the communities where she lived,” Lisa Palmer said.

She also received the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation’s Health and Human Services Volunteer of the Year award in 2012, and worked tirelessly until her death in 2014 to encourage community support for Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital.

Scholarship recipients have a variety of plans as they pursue their education.

  • Lilly Lopez will be attending Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., pursuing a major in nursing with a goal of becoming a licensed nurse practitioner.
  • Megan Elbert is a student in City College’s radiology program, working toward her X-ray license and pursuing training in mammography, CT and ultrasound.
  • Sophie Monterrosa will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall to major in neuroscience, intending to become a neurologist.
  • Arrianna Martinez will be attending University of Hawaii at Manoa to pursue a degree in nursing with a focus on anesthesiology. Her goal is to earn a nursing certification and degree as a nurse anesthetist.
  • Nicholas Briceno, a lifelong local resident, works in the SYVCH Emergency Department and is enrolled at City College, where he plans to study nursing. His goal is to achieve a bachelor’s degree in nursing and to continue his career in emergency medicine.