Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Laura Scudder Scholarship Awardees


Alice Nishimoto welcomed the awardees, their guests and members of the Historical Society of Monterey Park to the June 24th award luncheon held at the Monterey Hill Restaurant.  She thanked John Scudder for being here to honor these students Amber Martinez and Yarisma Rocha.


Dolores Seidman, a Scholarship Committee member, gave a brief history on the Society and Museum that is located at Garvey Ranch Park (781 S. Orange Avenue in Monterey Park). Please visit the museum and see the early history of Monterey Park. It is a treasure. The docents keep the museum opened. Monterey Park was established in 1917.

The museum was opened in 1970 by the Society at the Old Pump House. They solicited items from the city’s past. In 1979 the site was the new location of the Langley Center so the museum was moved to the Garvey Ranch House and opened to the public. The city owns the property. The museum is opened most Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 4 PM.

In 1987 Manuel Torres donated his 21 Mission models to museum where they are housed today.  Fourth grade students study the Missions as part of California history.

The museum has joint events with the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library. They participate in the Play Days Parade with the Honorary Grand Marshal.

The Laura Scudder Scholarships were first awarded in 1988 to Thomas Macias from Alhambra High School. He was a new business owner.

She introduced Alice Nishimoto and Marion Sumimoto as her fellow Scholarship Committee members to the audience. She also introduced her husband, Norm Stevens, a World War II veteran and author.

A delicious luncheon was enjoyed before the awards ceremony.


Marion Sumimoto gave a brief history of the Scudder Scholarship Program. Currently they announce the programs to several two-year local colleges for students to apply. The students must be working towards a degree in either Nursing, Business or Culinary.  Laura Scudder was a nurse, businesswoman, a lawyer and a creator of snack food.

The committee reviews their applications and picks two of the best candidates to receive the scholarships to pay towards their education. To date 26 nursing students, 13 business students and 3 culinary students have received the Scudder Scholarships.


John Scudder thanked all of the guests and members for attending this event.  He thanked the Awards Committee for selecting the awardees. These young women remind him of Laura Scudder. These young women and mothers face many challengers.

He is very happy to give these students scholarships in his grandmother’s name. His grandmother sent all four of her grandchildren to college. America has an education to offer. He is touched by the support of the students and their families.


Mr. Scudder gave a brief bio on his grandmother, Laura Scudder. She was born in 1881, in Philadelphia, Laura Scudder was a nursing student in Trenton, N.J., then worked as a nurse, before moving to Ukiah, in Northern California, having married Charles Scudder on July 4, 1908. She opened a restaurant across from the Mendocino County Courthouse, where lawyers encouraged her to study law.

While there she became the first female attorney in Ukiah, California (but she never practiced law) before moving south in 1920, to Monterey Park, California, where Charles ran a gas station (a garage and attached brick building at the Northeast corner of Atlantic and Garvey) until he was disabled, repairing a car Laura took over the gas station, but branched out into the potato chips in 1926 and later, peanut butter in 1931.  She hired local women to create the waxed paper bags for her potato chips to keep them fresh and hired local men to sell them to the local markets.

He said that his grandmother was an attorney before she could vote.


Mr. Scudder put together a special book “ Your’s Sincerely” with pictures, notes and valuable quotations from Laura Scudder. “She does the best she can”. “She built her business on prayer”. His grandmother is a good example of the times.

Ms. Seidman introduced the awardees to Mr. Scudder and the guests.

Amber Martinez graduated from Bell Gardens High School and is attending East Los Angeles College with a major in Chemistry. Her Grade Point Average is 3.57. She is suffering from a kidney ailment and has been on dialysis. She decided to become a nurse. Her teachers recommended Amber for the scholarship because of her kindness.  She is caring person and received a good recommendation from her fellow students. She lives out her values. Her proud parent Jose and Ariana Samamego joined her at the ceremony.

Yarisma Rocha, a young mother with a one-year-old daughter, attended El Rancho High School and Rio Honda College with a Grade Point Average of 3.85. She is a business major and is looking forward to transferring to USC. She helps her fellow students. Her employer praised her for her work ethic and her courage to over come adversity. Her friend, John Quino joined her at the ceremony.


Yarisma Rocha and Amber Martinez proudly accepted proclamations and their scholarship checks from John Scudder.

Ms. Rocha thanked all of the members who were involved in her interview and giving her this scholarship.  She thanked John Scudder. It will pay for some of her expenses at USC. She thanked John Scudder for learning about his grandmother’s history She has been inspired by Laura’s life history.

Ms. Martinez thanked everyone for allowing her to tell her story. She thanked John Scudder and the committee for this scholarship.

Ms. Nishimoto thanked everyone for to the scholarship celebration. We appreciate it every year.

Mr. Scudder said this the best event we have ever had.

For more information on the Laura Scudder Scholarships please contact the Historical Society of Monterey Park at P O Box 272, Monterey Park CA 91754.

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