The First Recipient of The Kory Kavanewsky Acts of Kindness Scholarship

As the Coronado High School class of 2018 prepares for its commencement ceremony this evening, many scholarships are being awarded. This year, a CHS alum, Kory Kavanewsky of CMG Mortgage, has introduced a different kind of acknowledgment, a community scholarship, the Kory Kavanewsky Acts of Kindness Scholarship.

In the world of scholarships and acknowledgments, it is customary to see the majority of monetary awards given to students for academic and athletic achievements. The criteria for the award set by Kavanewsky is to recognize an exceptional high school graduating senior, inspired by the vision of a kinder world and committed to making a difference through random acts of kindness or involving themselves in initiatives that promote kindness.

Natalya Gomez, Kory Kavanewsky
Natalya Gomez is awarded the first Kory Kavanewsky Acts of Kindness Scholarship.

The CHS Scholarship committee, made up of a multidisciplinary group of staff at the high school who are familiar with the students in all aspects of high school life, set their own criteria on how they match students to scholarships. In this case, there was no application process for the scholarship, the recipient was chosen by the committee based upon an alignment of these characteristics:

  • The Student inspires others, not only through their actions but by being who they are.
  • The Student is compassionate, aware, wise, open-minded, imaginative, and creative or innovative.
  • The Student understands the value of education, recognizing that a well-rounded person embraces learning opportunities inside and outside of school.
  • The Student personally strives for excellence but maintains a healthy greater perspective in their pursuit of it that allows them to experience life and its joys.
  • The student is inspired by the vision of a kinder world and has the character and commitment to undertake wholeheartedly a project that will create positive impact now and in the future in their community, locally or globally.
  • The student has demonstrated a commitment to positive action, contribution or raising awareness in their daily life and/or past activities.

The recipient of this award for 2018 is Natalya Gomez. As the script read when presented on June 11, 2018, at the scholarship award ceremony, she “is a student who has demonstrated that they embrace the vision of a kinder world and have demonstrated this commitment by making a difference through not only their actions but by being who they are. This student inspires others by embracing this core value into their everyday life through intentional acts of kindness, contributing to actions that promote positive problem-solving and being an inspiration to others. It is our hope that with the recognition of this student’s positive attitude and kind actions they will continue on the trajectory of kindness as a core value and/or become involved in similar initiatives through their post-secondary years and into adult life.”

Natalya Gomez, Kory Kavanewsky
Natalya Gomez and Kory Kavanewsky along with Natalya’s parents.

After she received the award, Natalya was kind enough to share a little about herself. She attended K-8 at Sacred Heart Parish School before entering CHS in ninth grade. She was very surprised and honored to have been selected. In her words, “I have truly just stayed true to myself and the values I’ve been raised with; so it was definitely a surprise and inspiration to know that the small things I do each day have made a difference and touched people so much so that I was thought of and chosen for this recognition. It is a reminder that all our actions impact others.” As for what’s next for her, she will be attending Point Loma Nazarene as a Nursing major with the goal to first become a pediatric nurse and then a nurse practitioner. She would also like to join the Peace Corps after college or work internationally in some capacity at some point.

She also shared that she believes being kind, understanding and considerate is the beginning of creating a better world. That a simple smile has the power to create a happier world, one smile at a time. She said the award has reminded her that the big differences are created in the small actions one takes.

She wants Mr. Kavanewsky and CMG Mortgage and her teachers to know how grateful she is for their generosity and for making a difference in her life. She also wants to thank the community and people of Coronado who have helped shape her, inspire her and for all of the opportunities that were placed in her path.

The Kory Kavanewsky Acts of Kindness Scholarship is a $1000 cash award that is only to be used toward an advanced education. There is no doubt, their first recipient will make them proud and she will continue on a “trajectory of kindness”.

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Chris is a native San Diegan who has had business ties to Coronado from when the bridge still had a toll. She vowed to herself one day she would make the island her home. Chris has been an entrepreneur for over two decades as a business owner and business/life strategist and coach. Her work has been seen in magazines, blogs, The Seattle Times and The Huffington Post.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: