Renowned company pledges $1 million in financial assistance
to low-income students from the south San Joaquin Valley
In an effort to help low-income students from the south San Joaquin Valley pursue their higher education dreams, Paramount Farms has pledged $1 million to a scholarship fund at the University of California, Merced.
"The Resnicks and the leadership of Paramount Farms are demonstrably committed to access to education in the Valley," said David Hosley, interim vice chancellor for University Relations. "This leadership gift is a great investment in our growing university and young people, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college. The Paramount Farms Scholarship Fund will give students from the region the opportunity for a life-transforming experience."
Paramount Farms, owned by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, is the largest farmer of tree crops in the world. The company processes almonds, lemons, oranges and pistachios.
Stewart Resnick, a graduate from the University of California, said he and his wife understand how higher education can provide the foundation for a successful career.
"We have been pleased to watch how scholarships can help open doors for students in our community," Stewart Resnick said. "Helping students attend UC Merced is an investment that will pay dividends in so many ways."
The Resnicks have supported UC Merced and its mission since the campus was founded.
Their first gift, a donation of $200,000 in 2003, helped 171 students — including members of UC Merced's first freshman class — attend the university. The Resnicks and Paramount Farms gave $250,000 to establish an endowed scholarship fund in 2008. Twenty-seven scholarships have been awarded through that fund. The new pledge — which commits funds to be expended each year, rather than to the endowed fund — will allow for hundreds of scholarship awards in the coming years.
The Resnicks and Paramount Farms have also donated to help fund the expansion of the UC Scholars Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) in the Delano region.
Paramount Farms is headquartered in Los Angeles and has operations throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The Resnicks also own FIJI Water, Teleflora, Paramount Citrus and POM Wonderful.
Azucena Robles, a mechanical engineering major from Bakersfield who will graduate in May 2013, is among the students who have been helped by Paramount Farms' scholarships.
"This scholarship has helped me begin to achieve my long-term goal, which is to obtain higher education, find a great job and be a successful woman," Robles said.