Grimmway Farms has awarded 62 college scholarships to recent Kern County high school graduates as part of its annual Rod and Bob Grimm Memorial Scholarship Program, it announced Tuesday.

The company-wide initiative is designed to help high-achieving high school seniors pursue college, according to a company news release. Those awarded demonstrate superior academic performance and must have a parent employed by Bakersfield-based Grimmway Farms.

“We’re proud to help these young people pursue their academic dreams at colleges and universities across the nation,” Grimmway Farms President Jeff Huckaby said in the release. “By investing in them, we are investing in the future success of our employees and their families, as well as the communities where we operate.”

This year’s recipients come from Arvin, Bakersfield, Delano, Lamont, McFarland and Shafter. They include Belen Bravo and Ashleen Sodhi, who with 4.5 grade point averages topped all 2017 Rod and Bob Grimm Memorial Scholarship recipients, Grimmway said.

“Receiving this college scholarship from Grimmway Farms was like lifting a weight off of my shoulders,” Bravo was quoted as saying. “It allows me to focus on my academics rather than worrying about my finances."

Bravo, a human biology and society major at UCLA, graduated from Ridgeview High School. Sodhi, also a Ridgeview grad, is majoring in biological sciences at UC Davis.

“Receiving the Grimmway Farms scholarship was literally a dream come true,” said Sodhi. “Now, I can attend my dream college without worrying about the burden of student loans."

Grimmway Farms’ scholarship program has awarded more than 565 scholarships totaling more than $1.5 million to graduating high school seniors since 1997, the release said. It awarded 65 total this year.

Grimmway is the world’s largest producer of carrots and supplies more than 65 organic, USA-grown crops year-round, it said.

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