Success & Service: MJC student wins $4,000 in contest

Modesto Junior College student Tonia Habel recently won $4,000 through a statewide financial aid awareness campaign sponsored by California Community Colleges.

The 23-year-old single mom of a 17-month-old son had applied for the "I Can Afford College" contest through MJC's financial aid office Web site, but she forgot about doing so until she received the check in the mail.

Habel is taking prerequisite courses before applying to MJC's nursing program. She hopes to become a physician's assistant.

Other Modesto Junior College students have a chance to win a "Free Ride to Community College" this month. The contest includes a new car and a scholarship. Enter online at

The Modesto Bee recently won four awards in the California Newspaper Publisher Association's contest. The awards were:

• First place for front page design

• Second place for editorial pages

• Second place for business/financial story for J.N. Sbranti's piece on Gallo's 75th anniversary

• Second place for special sections for the 2008 high school football preview edition

Also, Vida en el Valle, McClatchy's Spanish- language newspaper that serves the Central Valley, won two first-place awards and three second-place awards in the CNPA contest. It also received six awards, including for first place, by the National Association of Hispanic Publications.

Turlock's 12:10 Lions Club was named club of the year during the 61st annual Lions District 4-A1 convention held earlier this month. The district includes 65 clubs from Lodi to Madera. The Turlock club was honored for its community service. Lions Terry and Sandy Anderson were selected as district lions of the year, the third time in the district's history the honor has been shared.

Several women were honored recently by Soroptimist International of Modesto North:

• Linda Kovacs, executive director of the Center for Human Services, received the Ruby Award for women helping women.

• Marie Rutledge received the women's opportunity award for furthering her skills and training.

• Katherine Elstad won the Violet Richardson Award, honoring women 14 to 17 years old for efforts benefiting a particular charity or organization.

• Krystal Hogan received the scholarship award to the Stanislaus County Office of Education's Leadership Academy.

Home Instead Senior Care honored Geraldine Metcalf as its 2009 caregiver of the year during a banquet last week. Metcalf has been with the agency for a decade, caring for the same client for the past nine years.

Submit items for Success & Service to