Des Moines Dollars for Scholars announces 2018 scholarship winners

The winners of the 2018 Des Moines Dollars for Scholars were recently honored at a scholarship awards ceremony held at the Des Moines Yacht Club.

The theme of this year’s ceremony was “Share the Vision” in honor of Dr. Irving Fradkin, optometrist and founder of Dollars for Scholars. Dr. Fradkin believed that if everyone in the community gave a dollar, college tuition would be within reach for all students in the community. Local Donors who share Dr. Fradkin’s vision presented the awards.

Also in attendance were Mayor Matt Pina, Councilmember Traci Buxton, Councilmember Luisa Bangs, and Councilmember Matt Mahoney.

2018 Des Moines Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Winners in their “Vision” glasses are:

Pictured Right to Left
: Front row: Vy “Susu” Le, Kent Vo, Rahel Ambachew, Fatima Firoz

Back row: Giuliana Pepe, Isaac Magana Juarez, Aram Avanesyan, Nghia Nguyen, Elizabeth Olvera Roman (Tyee High School), Naveen Matharu, Katalia Alexander, Ami Yoshino, Eunice Valcourt, Atziri Vargas Perez

Students are from Mt. Rainier High School unless otherwise noted.

Photo credit: Amanda Sandate

Des Moines Dollars for Scholars Donors are:

  • ABC Grocery 
BJ & Anna Bjorneby
  • Des Moines City Employees Bob Crane, Terryann Dell, Joe Dusenbury, Mike Thomas, & Bonnie Wilkins
  • Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Endowment Fund 
Des Moines Dollars for Scholars Board—Sara Baker, Vickie Bergquist, Sheila Dahlgren, Karen Daniels, Angie Engel, Trish Keenan, Brian Snure, Maggie Steenrod, Virg Steiger, Marilee Wamsley, Bonnie Wilkins
  • Des Moines Police Foundation
  • Des Moines Yacht Club First Mates
  • Des Moines Rotary Club 
Teresa and Marco Felix
  • Sandra Higgins
  • Cali Hornbacks in memory of Norman Pogemiller 
Joan Nelson
Southwest Seattle Business and Professional Women
  • Snure Law Offices
  • Geraldine Sorensen
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Recology/CleanScapes

If you would like to donate to Des Moines Dollars for Scholars to support a local student or to create a scholarship in your name or the name of a loved one, please contact Vickie Bergquist at (206) 878-4050 or email [email protected]

Donations are accepted online at

Our Dollars for Scholars chapter is a nonprofit foundation that supports academic success in our community. As part of Scholarship America’s national network of locally based, volunteer-driven Dollars for Scholars chapters, our mission is to mobilize our community on behalf of postsecondary education success for our students.

Dollars for Scholars chapters like ours help hometown students achieve their educational goals by raising scholarship funds, establishing endowments, providing assistance with college readiness and the financial aid process, and distributing scholarships each year.

Des Moines Dollars for Scholars has provided over $300,000 in scholarships to students in the local Des Moines/Normandy Park area. 

Students and Parents can learn more about our scholarships on our website:

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