Betty Himoto Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad is pleased to announce an annual scholarship for eligible students within Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. We have established the Betty Himoto Memorial Scholarship. An annual scholarship of $1000 will be awarded based on merit to a qualifying student pursuing a degree or technical training in the Industrial Arts.

2023 Award Presentation - photo

2023 Scholarship Award:

We are pleased to announce the first recipient of the Betty Himoto Memorial Scholarship to Yahir Chavez from Pioneer High School in Santa Maria. Yahir has been accepted to enroll in Universal Technical Institute this summer.

Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad Directors Gary See and Garret Matsuura presented the scholarship award to Yahir at this year’s Annual Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad Dinner Gala and Fundraiser.

Apply for Academic Year 2024-2025 Awards:

2024-2025 Application:
Download the PDF here.

Amount of Scholarship Award:

An applicant must be enrolled (or accepted to attend) at the time of application as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited college or university, or a full-time industrial arts technical training student on the Central California Coast (San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara Counties). Applicants must be enrolled in courses in industrial arts, technical vocational training, or industrial engineering courses including industrial arts, industrial technology, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and agricultural engineering. Preference to applicants preparing for a career in railroads. Eligible schools are: Hancock College, Cuesta College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, University of California Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City College.

Application Process:
Applications will be accepted between September 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. All materials, including references letters and transcripts, must be postmarked via US Mail or submitted via email/on line by March 31, 2024 to be considered. For academic year 2024-2025, candidates will be notified of the Committee's decision by April 15, 2024. The 2023 application timeline is as follows:
1.) Application Window: September 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.
2.) Candidate Notification: April 15, 2024.
3.) Awards Dinner May 18, 2024.

The application must consist of the following:
1.) The application downloaded above.
2.) An official transcript from high schools, vocational schools (as applicable), and colleges (as applicable) attended for all work through prior year (arrange to be sent directly to Friends-SMVRR via US Mail or email).
3.) Three letters of recommendation (arrange to be sent directly to Friends-SMVRR via US Mail or email).

All materials should be submitted to the following US Mail address or email address:

P.O. BOX 1031
SANTA MARIA, CA 93456-1031

If you have questions or problems, contact us via email at: