Yuma Sun Scholars: Arts
The Yuma Sun Scholars program recognizes students in Yuma County who excel in one of seven academic categories. Winners from each category will be profiled in editions of the Yuma Sun.
Eight high school seniors have been nominated by their school counselors or teachers to be recognized by the Yuma Sun Scholars program for outstanding achievements in the field of arts. They are among nearly 50 students chosen to be honored this year. Every area high school can nominate one student for each category: technical studies, arts, foreign language, social sciences, science, language arts and math.
Elizabeth Meyers, a student at Calvary Baptist School, was nominated by Heather Holiman for her creativeness.
“She is a very creative individual who consistently demonstrates her excellent abilities through painting, needle crafts, drama and music. She also sings and plays the piano on her church praise team.”
Meyers said, “Music helps express my creativity in many different mediums such as music, painting and acting. I love expressing myself in many different ways. I enjoy art the best, for painting is my passion.”
The daughter of Laila and Louis Meyers, she has been a Go Getter, on the honor roll and received first place in dramatic monologue. She also enjoys horseback riding, church praise team and the yearbook club. She plans to attend Arizona Western College and transfer to a university to pursue a career as a veterinarian.
Lawrence Ware, a student at Gila Ridge High School, was nominated by Sonia Rebek on behalf of theater production/choir teacher Tim O'Brien. “He is very dedicated to the study of theater production. He is very involved and his goal is to major in theater and open his own comedy club.”
Ware said, “My favorite aspect of this subject field is that it gives me the opportunity to not only imagine exciting possibilities but bring them to life; working as part of a team to take on challenges using creative problem solving and push boundaries.”
The son of Grant and Adella Ware, he is a national honor thespian, received a theatrical scholarship to Arizona Western College for 2013-2015 and received honorable mention in the Dupont Challenge. He is the president of drama club and improv club, is involved with 4-H and a member of teen council and performing choir. He plans to major in theatrical theatre with a minor in business with hopes to one day open his own venue specializing in improv comedy.
Isabella Porchas, a student at Kofa High School, was nominated by drama director Nicola Olsen as an outstanding leader for the club.
“She is an incredible actress and has been in every play here at Kofa High since her freshman year. Bella is willing to work hard, but at the same time she gets along with everyone and that earns her the respect of her peers.”
Porchas loves being able to express herself. “I love being able to use my voice in front of a crowd and capture an audience by getting them to feel what I feel, believe in me, and believe with me. It's an indescribable experience.”
The daughter of Melissa and Enrique Porchas, she is the drama club president, straight “A” honor roll student and won an oratorical contest with the Optimist Club of Yuma. She is involved in the French club, golfing, drama club, after- school main stage plays, volunteering at summer acting camps for kids, organizing canned food drives and campus cleanups. She plans to attend the University of Arizona and major in musical theater, minor in creative writing, possibly graduate school, move to New York and strive to follow her Broadway dreams.
Rosa Navarro, a student at San Luis High School, was nominated by bands and choirs director Richard Nobbe III for her dedication to helping her peers.
“In addition to her outstanding musical talents, Rosa is also dedicated to helping her peers and she sets a wonderful example for them. Creative and industrious, Rosa has been an active member of the choir club.”
Navarro said, “The thing I like the most about being in choir is that this class has taught me how to use all my efforts in order to succeed in life.”
The daughter of Ana and Anibal Navarro, she has been involved in the choir club and HOSA. She plans to enroll at Arizona Western College and transfer to a university to become a dentist.
Audura Raylene Barton
Audura Raylene Barton, a student at San Pasqual Valley High School, was nominated by Stacy Blackmer-Blomquist because of her enthusiasm and commitment.
“She is talented. She not only excels at the technical aspects of two dimensional art, but she also consistently comes up with interesting ideas from which to work.”
Barton likes art because it is a way to express yourself and not have to worry if it is perfect or not. “I like that no matter what, you can always put down whatever you want.”
The daughter of Patricia Barton and Benjamin Martinez, she won a first-place award at the Yuma County Fair art show. She is involved in volleyball, track and ASB. She plans to attend Arizona Western College for two years and transfer to a four-year university.
Fabian Estrada, a student at Yuma Catholic High School, was nominated by music director Brandon T. Coz.
“His contribution to the music program here at Yuma Catholic High School has been well received and has aided in taking the program to the next level of excellence. Over the past seven months, his singing and musicianship have given him a well-rounded confidence, through his personal growth and improvement.”
Estrada enjoys singing. “It allows me to escape from everyday life into a different mindset. I can connect emotionally with music no matter what I am feeling. Choir helps me learn things like dynamics, beats and tempos used in music to create what we listen to on the radio.”
The son of Fernando and Ernestina Estrada, he won the President's Award for academic excellence. He is also involved in National Honor Society, mass choir and interact club. He plans to attend Arizona State University and major in journalism.
Josh Owl, a student at Yuma High School, was nominated by band director Amanda Dallabetta because of his strong work ethic, determination and passion for music.
“He is truly one in a million. His work ethic and personal expectation level is by far the highest I have seen from a student. He also exhibits a sense of humor and is serious about equality. Josh will be a smashing success in all his endeavors.”
Owl said, “Music is one of my biggest passions. I am blessed to have it be such a large part of my life. Music gave me the drive and inspiration to be able to aspire to do my best, and I wholeheartedly believe I owe most — if not all — of my accolades to it.”
The son of Catherine and Faron Owl, he is valedictorian, on the “A” team honor roll and received the University of Arizona Baird scholarship. He is involved in the community through recitals and performances, and devotes spare hours to community service. He plans to attend the University of Arizona for an undergraduate degree and receive a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins in biomedical engineering with an electrical engineering minor.
Jose Abel Uriarte
Jose Abel Uriarte, a student at Antelope Union High School, was nominated by music teacher Dr. Andrew L. Smith as a great representative of the school and the community.
“He is active in both choir and drums. He has performed at several school events including home football and basketball games, the holiday program and the spring arts night.”
Uriarte said, “Music is a great way to express your emotions and how different kinds of music together are amazing.”
The son of Abel and Maria Uriarte, he has been involved with the “A” honor roll, drums, choir, guitar, FFA, drama and Key Club. He plans to be a computer graphics designer to make art by using computers.