Spotlight shines on Friendship Club graduates |

Spotlight shines on Friendship Club graduates

Special to The Union

Fond memories mixed in with tears of joy and laughter at the Friendship Club’s 7th Annual Graduation and Scholarship Awards Dinner.

Four Friendship Club girls are graduating high school in June, and each of them plans on attending college in the fall. They were honored Wednesday night at Alta Sierra Country Club.

Friendship Club Executive Director Jennifer Litton Singer presented $1,000 scholarships to Laura Becerra, Arielle Clay, Misty Cullen and Shilo Piper to reward them for their academic achievements, community service, extracurricular involvement and courage to overcome personal adversity.

“I went on one of the Friendship Club’s college trips, and I had so much fun going on the tour and seeing all the opportunities available to me, that I made up my mind before we even got back, I was going to go to college, no matter what,” Piper said.

Piper, a student at Forest Charter School, also spoke of the Friendship Club’s College Knowledge Program, which includes visiting college campuses, providing support with standardized tests and offering guidance in the scholarship and financial aid process.

Becerra, attending Nevada Union High School, plans on becoming a CPA; Clay, attending Bear River High School wants to be a nurse; and Cullen, who attends Bitney Springs Charter High School, will be working towards her AA degree at Sierra College in the fall.

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Cassy Benuzzi, a 2005 graduate of the Friendship Club, was introduced as the newest member of their Board of Directors. Benuzzi attends Sierra College and works at the Food Bank of Nevada County, where she helped to develop a nutrition program for children. In the fall, she will be attending California State University, Chico.

In its thirteenth year of existence, the Friendship Club strives to integrate disadvantaged adolescent girls into the community, teach them important life skills and empower them to complete their education and lead responsible lives.

For more information, contact The Friendship Club at 265-4311 or visit

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