The Balboa Bay Club and its philanthropic organization, “The 1221 Club Foundation,” came together earlier this week to recognize 11 exceptional graduating seniors for their academic achievements and distribute a total of $100,000 in scholarships.
The 1221 Club Foundation Scholarship
“As of this June, the 1221 Club will have awarded over $728,000 over this 19-year period. The members of The 1221 Club work throughout the year to raise funds to support our leaders of the future,” said Beverly Ray Parkhurst, founder of The 1221 Club.
The students receiving awards at the June 5 event were nominated for the 1221 Club Scholarships by principals, counselors and teachers from the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa area. Nominees were vetted and then interviewed by a panel of members from the Balboa Bay Club’s Board of Governors.
First place winners, Andrew Mather and Ariana Naaseh, were awarded $20,000 each, while second place winners, Matthew Morgan and Christina Brown, both received $7,500.
Ariana Naaseh will be attending University of California, Berkley, in the fall to begin her path toward becoming a neurosurgeon. While volunteering with many organizations over the past four years, including The American Cancer Society, Naaseh has become fascinated with the human brain and all of its functions, she said.
Matthew Morgan, who is graduating at 16 years old, will be taking his 4.47 GPA to his dream school, the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), in the fall and majoring in math.
Christina Brown, graduating high school with a 4.3 GPA (she never received a grade lower than an A-), will be fulfilling her educational dreams at UCLA. Through her many excursions overseas, Brown has decided to study politics in the fall, she said.
The E. Morris Smith Governor’s Scholarship was awarded to Brent Lawson and Allyson Brahs, both currently excelling in academics and sports. Romona Smith, the wife of the former governor of the Balboa Bay Club, continued the couples’ legacy with annual scholarship donations to exceptional students. For the past two years, she has granted $20,000 each to two students.
Honorable mention scholarship recipients included Kerlly Castellano, Dylan Ulrich, Leah Woodside, Mandy Nguyen and Sharon Shaoulian, who were each awarded $1,000 toward their educational future.
E. Morris Smith Award Winner Brent Lawson acknowledged his high school achievements as some of the many “nouns” he has been fortunate enough to receive over the years. Nevertheless, he said, these accolades haven’t been his focus.
“People get caught up in these nouns and what they have done,” said Lawson. “I want to focus more on the verbs and the future.”
Lawson and fellow awardees expressed their appreciation and hopes to make the Balboa Bay Club, the 1221 Club and E. Morris Smith proud.
“As I promise, I will pay it forward with years to come,” said Allyson Brahs, the other E. Morris Smith Award recipient.
The 1221 Club is funded by personal donations, an annual wine auction held during the Newport Beach Wine Festival each Memorial Day Weekend, and an annual Gentlemen’s Smoker dinner and auction held in July. This year, Parkhurst will be handing the reins of the foundation over to the Pickup family, the new owners of the Balboa Bay Club who will continue oversee the 1221 Club Foundation, along with the other aspects of the Club.
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