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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Scholarships Awarded to Two SJVC Pharmacy Technology Students

February 9, 2023

Two SJVC Modesto Pharmacy Technology students, Areanna Brickey and Viengkeo Himmavanh, received scholarships from the Central Valley Hispanic Foundation, a 501.c3 nonprofit arm of the Central Valley Chamber of Commerce.


The students were awarded during a reception hosted by the foundation on November 9, 2022 for their high achievement and expressing their commitment to their local communities as part of their personal goals in the field of Pharmacy Technology. There was a total of ten recipients, who were awarded $500 each.


The Pharmacy Technology program can be completed in as few as 9 months and is offered on ten of the SJVC campuses. As Christine Reyes-Muhammad, Enrollment Service Director at the SJVC Modesto campus describes it, “The Pharmacy Technology program prepares you to work in one of three different areas of the pharmaceutical industry: the hospital environment, the retail environment, and what’s called the compounding environment, where the medicine is produced.”


To apply for the scholarship, Arianna and Viengko had to submit proof of enrollment in one of the local colleges, send two letters of recommendation, a copy of their transcript and GPA, a list of extra-curricular activities, and write an essay answering the question why they chose the field of Pharmacy Technology. For the selection committee, the essay was the critical factor in determining the recipient; given the mission of the foundation, those who expressed a commitment to serving the local community were recognized.


Viengkeo wrote in her essay about how she cared for her sick parents growing up, and as a result grew interested in the pharmacy field. She lives in Ceres, just outside of Modesto, and loves being involved in the Lao community there, where she currently lives. In this work, she is able to put her ability to speak Lao, English, and Thai languages to help others.


Anna began her pharmacy career journey when she was just seventeen and fell in love with medicine as one of the first students to intern in pharmacy during her high school Regional Occupational Program (ROP). Her motivation to attend college was to break a family history of having children at a young age and having to abandon hope of higher education in the struggle to raise kids. She wanted to be the first in her family to complete college and give her many cousins “a different picture” to shape their future.


When asked what has inspired her involvement in promoting the scholarships, Christine Reyes-Muhammad said, “I’m so pleased we can help these students handle their expenses, especially in this time of such high inflation. It’s great to see them accomplish getting a certificate or a degree despite the economic hardship at this time.”

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