Published September 14, 2020

Ashley Tirado and Alisha Cetina from Shasta College’s Shasta Technical Education Program-Unified Partnership (STEP-UP) have been awarded a Minerva Women in California Leadership Scholarship. Only 80 students statewide were awarded these $2,500 scholarships. The Minerva Scholarship program was established by Women in California Leadership (WICL) Foundation to support the advancement of women in the State of California. The scholarship recognizes select women of promise and is designed to help awardees reach their academic goals.

The Minerva Scholarship program is extremely competitive, as it is open to any California female resident. The WICL Foundation received over a thousand applications and selected Ashley and Alisha as the first two Shasta College STEP-UP students to receive this honor. A look at the other awardees listed on the WICL website ( provides a powerful perspective on the caliber of applicants from schools such as Pepperdine, UCLA, UC Berkley, and USC to name but a few. 

STEP-UP Program Director Robert Bowman emphasized the groundbreaking nature of this achievement stating, “Ashley and Alisha are outstanding Shasta College students in every respect and I am elated that their accomplishments and character have been recognized in such a competitive statewide forum. We are truly proud to count these students among the Shasta college STEP-UP family.”  Ashely plans to use her award in obtaining her Associate in Science Degree in Health Information Technology and Alisha will use her $2500 award toward earning her Associate in Arts Degree in Psychology. 

Aleshia Cetina commented on the recognition she’s received by winning this award, “I am very humbled by this award. I am so honored and excited to be paving the way for others to show that you can change your life, get a higher level of education, and make a positive impact on your community.” 

Ashley Tirado reflected on winning this award with these thoughts, “I never thought that anything like this could happen [for me]. I know that I can show the people that I mentor and the people around me that no matter where you come from or what you’ve done you can have a second chance at life. I can show other women that the mistakes of the past don’t have to go with them everywhere they go, they can change.” 

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