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Escondido History Center

2021 Legends Scholarship Program

Awards Presentations in January 2022



The Escondido History Center Legends Scholarship Program, providing $1,000 scholarships for eight seniors attending Escondido high schools has once again been made possible by Jack Raymond.  


Each of the eight scholarships is linked to a legend or legends who have contributed significantly to Escondido's past and each student awarded with a scholarship will have demonstrated similar values and contributions to their community while maintaining high grade point averages..

The honorariums are intended to be used for expenses such as AP Tests, SAT/ACT, college application fees, senior pictures, yearbooks, sports fees and equipment, school spirit clothing, and memorabilia, or any other expenses deemed important by the recipients.

The Escondido History Center has three main goals in the establishment of the the Legends Scholarship Program.  We wish to honor Escondido’s Legends, recognize the outstanding Seniors attending Escondido's high schools, and promote a community-wide appreciation of the rich history of Escondido.


2021 Legends Award Recipients

Scroll down further to learn about each Legend they honored. 


Amber Morales, Escondido High School

Honoring Escondido Legends Max and Viola Atilano

  • Amber has demonstrated tremendous growth and achievement in her academics during her high school career and has earned a very high-grade point.

  • Amber has expressed a huge passion to contribute to the well-being of the under- served, especially children.  Through education and passion, she would like to support the needs of Latinx, African American, AAPI, LGBTQ communities and other cultures.

  • As a participant in varsity soccer and field hockey, Amber learned hard work, commitment at being a team player developing caring and patience and the striving to see the best in all people.

  • Amber participated in Cougar Ambassadors to coordinate social events, ninth grade orientations and tutoring. During her senior year she took Stagecraft and helped out with the school musical, The Addams Family. 

  • Although Covid has curtailed many activities, Amber has been creatively involved with Cards for Hospital Kids.

  • With the main goal of being an elementary school social worker, she plans to dedicate her life to her biggest passion, helping children.


Natasha Tran, Escondido High School

Honoring Escondido Legends, the Baker Family

  • Natasha is an outstanding student, succeeding in many honors and Advanced Placement classes, with a grade point average over 4.0.

  • From an early age, Natasha participated in the after-school program at the Baker Family branch and, later, the Mitchell branch of Escondido’s Boys and Girls Clubs.  She benefited from the designated times to do homework or read. Afterward, a system of rotation of activities exposed Natasha to many active outdoor games, art, board games, and the computer lab (her favorite).

  • As a member of the Escondido Key Club for four years and this year as president, Natasha has been involved with numerous service opportunities through partnership with Escondido Kiwanis. Through Key Club, she has led campus clean-ups, made sandwiches for the homeless, and organized letters of appreciation to teachers.  Working with the Kiwanis Club, Natasha has volunteered at the American Heritage event, Interfaith Community Service Center, San Diego Children’s Museum, the annual Fishing Derby at Dixon Lake and the Pediatric Trauma Program.

  • As Vice-President of the Computer Science Honors Society, Natasha tutored third graders at Juniper School using Zoom. Through her membership in the California Scholarship Federation, she tutored second graders in all areas through the La Paloma Tutoring Center.  Her membership in The National Honor Society has allowed her to be part of an adopt-a-teacher program, performing many tasks.

  • Natasha wants to attend a university and major in Computer Science, using her education to work on many concerns, especially providing the world with greater efficiency.


Joy Abdelmalak, Escondido High School

Honoring Escondido Legends Marvin and Carilyn Gilbert

  • Joy is an excellent student, maintaining a grade point average over 4.0.  Joy’s academic success is more amazing, considering the many other activities she’s participated in.

  • As the Escondido Union High School District Board of Education student representative, Joy represents all the students in the district.  She was honored as the Outstanding Student Board Member by the California School Boards Association and was a speaker at their convention.

  • Joy has been a tri-sport athlete for all four years.  She played Field Hockey, Golf, Water Polo (Captain), and Swim (Captain).

  • After taking Advanced Placement Computer Science and as a leader of the Computer Science Honor Society, Joy has gone to local elementary schools conducting coding lessons.

  • Joy has been the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for four years.

  • As a member of the California Scholarship Federation and the National Honor Society, Joy has assumed the role of fundraiser specialist.

  • Using her enormous skills through 2022 Leadership, Link Crew and Peer Leader Uniting Students, Joy has promoted pride and involvement at Escondido High School.

  • Through Emmanuel Faith Community Church and their Collide Youth Ministry, Joy has volunteered as a worship leader.

Joy hopes to attend UCLA, majoring in Political Science, and remain a “strong voice” for the betterment of Escondido.


Angeleen Duong, Escondido High School

Honoring Escondido Legends Marvin and Carilyn Gilbert


  • Angeleen is an outstanding student, succeeding in many honors and Advanced Placement classes, with a grade point average over 4.0.

  • Serving as a role model for the students at Rincon Middle School, Angeleen volunteers there, helping her former culinary teacher.  Her responsibilities include filing paperwork, assisting students with recipes and instructions, and organizing the classroom.

  • Angeleen has been involved in basketball as a shooting guard and was used to shoot the technical fouls.  She has also participated on the cheer team, and with rigorous practice, moved from JV to Varsity this school year.

  • As a member of Key Club, Angeleen has worked with her peers on numerous projects at school and in the community, and learned the benefit of networking.

  • Angeleen has been an officer in the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation, leading and volunteering in many school service projects.

  • Demonstrating individual motivation, Angeleen taught herself how to speak the Korean language through the Duolingo website.

  • Although Angeleen does not currently plan to pursue a career in elementary education, she has the organizational skills and intellect to be successful in any career she works toward.


Sylvia Orozco, Escondido High School

Honoring Escondido Legend Helen Heller

  • Sylvia is an outstanding student, succeeding in many Advanced Placement classes, earning a grade point average over 4.0.

  • As the secretary of the Feminism Club, Silvia is strongly committed to making a difference and striving to develop a community where every single person feels comfortable.  Sylvia has assisted in the local hygiene drive for women, getting the hygiene boxes ready for distribution.

  • Being a member of the National Honors Society and California Scholarship Federation has allowed Sylvia the opportunity to use her leadership skills.

  • Sylvia has always admired the performing arts. She has played the alto sax for four years, and has taken dance to expose herself to different dancing styles.  Sylvia loves to perform at the Center for the Arts.

  • Creative writing has offered Sylvia an opportunity to express things that are relevant in today’s world and storytelling about a heroine whose struggles are similar to hers.

  • Volunteering to read to preschoolers and helping at her middle school’s after- school program have been a couple of Sylvia’s community efforts

  • The future for Sylvia will be dedicated to creating stories of relevancy with the intent to make the world a safer place.


Alexis Vega, Escondido High School

Honoring Escondido Legend Lloyd “Lefty” Mitchell

  • Alexis is an outstanding student with a grade point average over 4.0 while succeeding in numerous Honors and Advanced Placement classes.

  • Starting to play softball at the age of five, Alexis played for many teams and the All-Stars in the Escondido Girls Softball League.

  • Before entering Escondido High School, Alexis was invited by the softball coaches to attend practices at the school.

  • Alexis was one of only two freshmen who played all four years on the varsity softball team.  As the captain during her senior year, she learned leadership skills, helped with equipment, led drills and stretches, and mentored other players when asked.

  • Starting at age 14, Alexis, has been a hospitality and servant team member at church.  She organized events such as retreats, meetings, fundraisers, and Childrens Summer Bible Studies.

  • Alexis has developed a plan and set goals to attend college to earn a bachelor’s degree, majoring in engineering.


Jimmy Pham, Del Lago Academy

Honoring Escondido Legend Ruben T. “Rube” Nelson

  • Jimmy is an outstanding student, succeeding in many Advanced Placement classes, earning a grade point average over 4.0.

  • Jimmy is, in many ways, a current-day entrepreneur.  He has been heavily involved in numerous technical innovations at school, most notably, transitioning the school’s lengthy podcast into an engaging school television series.  With advertisement for fundraisers, comedic interviews, sports highlights, trailers for dances, and much more, the viewership of 700 in a school of 800 indicates its success.  Jimmy now serves as a mentor and has trained five apprentices he recruited.

  • His technological creativity is also evident in reinstituting the “Senior Assassins” and raising $1,000 for prizes. Jimmy also created a monthly series, “Senior Spotlight”, highlighting senior athletes, that had 5,000 school and community views.  In lieu of pep rallies, Jimmy led a group in developing “Hunger Games” with complicated puzzles for the classroom, designated “tributes,” and finally, hosting a lunch time, final round of dodgeball.

  • Jimmy instituted many of the previous accomplishments through his role as a Representative in ASB.  He also was part of student council and reviewed Title 1 funds, discussed the school’s tutoring program, and developed ways to bring attention to Del Lago throughout Escondido.

  • As a member of Key Club, Jimmy has done everything from picking up trash at the beach and a local park, to making sandwiches for Interfaith Community Services.  Recently he participated in “7 days of Warm Service” where he sent letters to the elderly, created holiday cards, and made teddy bears, etc.

  • Jimmy’s aspiration is to enhance common-day technology internationally.  He plans to innovate new technologies as an entrepreneur, rather than being an employee at a tech company.


MacKenzie Taylor, San Pasqual High School

Honoring Escondido Legend Bud Quade

  • MacKenzie is an outstanding student, succeeding in many honors and Advanced Placement classes, with a grade point average greater than 4.0.

  • Inspired by Bud Quade’s biography, MacKenzie aspires to be a business education high school teacher and hopes to attend San Diego State University, taking course work in the business and education program.

  • MacKenzie was eight years old when she created a business called Bubblegum Sisters, selling loom bracelets.  The business expanded and she realized she wanted to pursue business and learn the skills of entrepreneurship.

  • As captain of the Field Hockey team, which reached the CIF semi-finals her senior year, MacKenzie was in charge of coordinating the dress code, equipment schedule, running practices and communicating to the team about game times, release times and practice times.

  • The three years of varsity experience enabled MacKenzie to serve as assistant coach to the Wargles, a middle-school field hockey team.

  • MacKenzie has demonstrated her desire to give back to the community by participating in Interact Club, Alzheimer’s Awareness Club, National Honor Society, and playing piano at senior centers during the holiday season.


Annelise Jackson, Classical Academy

Honoring Escondido Legends George and Cynthia Weir

  • Annelise is an outstanding student, succeeding in many honors and Advanced Placement classes, with a grade point average over 4.0.

  • Recently taking tap dance classes, Annelise gained respect and understanding of what being athletic means.  This is in addition to her vast performing arts experience in the high school choir as soloist, singing and playing keyboard in the church praise band, and taking on leading roles in twelve musicals inside and outside of school.

  • Annelise was elected ASB Treasurer, assuming responsibility over the summer.  She needed to navigate the “Permission Click” website in order to help students purchase school merchandise, obtain hot lunches, make down payments for senior grad night, and develop a form to raise $40,000.  Other activities in high school include Phoenix Book Club, Environmental Club, and TED-Ed Club, guiding group discussions in Biblical Studies.

  • In the community, Annelise has been active in a clothing drive for Brother Benno, served as an usher/ticket saleswoman at Moonlight Amphitheater, packaged food at Feed My Starving Children events, and participated in a service trip to St. Louis, Missouri to work with Christian Friends New Americas and Humanitri.

  • Helping her two younger sisters during distance learning opened her eyes to an interest in teaching.  Annelise hopes to attend a four-year university and earn a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a teaching credential.


2021 Escondido Legends


Click on each name for more information about the Legend and related scholar-ship application.


     Max and Viola Atilano, Musician and Community Leaders

     The Baker Family, Businessmen and Philanthropists

     Marvin and Carilyn Gilbert, Educators and Civic Leaders

     Helen Heller, Businesswoman and Philanthropist

     Lloyd "Lefty" Mitchell, Community Servant

     Rube Nelson, Entrepreneur and Unique Character

     Bud Quade, Educator

     George and Cynthia Weir, Community Philanthropists

For more information about the Legends Scholarship Program,

call 760-743-8207 

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