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Michael Sullivan Scholarship

How to Apply

To apply for a scholarship, eligible students in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District should contact their guidance counselor or the scholarship committee at their high school.

Eligiblity Criteria

  • Eligible students must have overcome one or more significant barriers to school success: poverty, migration, immigration, ethnic or racial minority, or learning English as a second language.

  • Applicants are required to submit a FAFSA application for the coming academic year.


The Foundation

Mr. Sullivan bequeathed funds to the MAIA Foundation. His bequest helps to pay for activities that promote college attendance and helps to support modest scholarships.

About Michael Sullivan

Mr. Sullivan began as the Freshman Class counselor at Watsonville High School in 1965. He wanted to make a real difference in the lives of his students, but how? Mr. Sullivan could not significantly help each of his 400 to 600 students.

He decided to focus on poor and minority students who did not aspire to college or did not know how to get into college. Many were not even identified as college material, but they all had records of high academic achievement. Mr. Sullivan’s answer was to qualify them for admission to prestigious colleges and universities where they would have the greatest chance to break through the barriers of poverty, inequality and class.

Prestigious schools produce graduates with the mindset, skills and habits of successful people. The network of friends and college mentors that students develop at such schools later become key to employment.

During his years as a counselor, Mr. Sullivan filled gaps in financial aid packages so that students did not have to work. Mr. Sullivan believed students should be focused on learning and free to engage in campus-related social activities.

"MAIA strives to enable migrant families to assimilate into our community, in particular to access higher education.

My own experience has shown that any serious Mexican American student, well chosen, eased through the cultural transition in freshman year, will find a hard university experience exhilarating and will put it to very good practical use, benefiting everybody."

                Hal Hyde, MAIA Founding Board Member, 1994

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