Two high school students received scholarships recently from Helix Water District for demonstrating in an essay contest the importance of water in Southern California.
Mackenzie Manns of Grossmont High School and Aumunique Borja-Snell of Helix High School, both seniors, received the Dr. Lillian Childs and Robert D. Friedgen scholarships, respectively, earning each $1,000.
Manns is planning to attend UC Berkeley later this fall, while Borja-Snell expects to attend the University of Alabama.
In an excerpt from her essay, Manns called Southern California "an economic engine that drives the state of California and is a significant contributor to the overall health of the United States economy." None of that contribution, she added, would be possible without the state's early water system developers.
"The water rights they established created the environment that has allowed the south region to become an economic powerhouse," she wrote.
Both of the scholarship programs were begun in honor of former leaders within Helix Water District. Childs was a director on the water district’s board from 1979 to 1999, while Friedgen worked for the District for 44 years, and was its general manager from 1979 to 1998.