Contact PVHA:

Support PVHA:

About PVHA‎ > ‎

Young Historian Award

The Young Historian Award will be offered annually to an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the study, conservation/preservation, or enhancement of the history of the Pajaro Valley. The award will be a single award of $500.

Application deadline—April 17, 2014

Click here to download the application form

Eligible Activities/Projects

The scope of appropriate activities/projects may include regions adjacent to the Pajaro Valley as long as it is demonstrated how they impact the Pajaro Valley, and may be broadly interpreted to include a variety of efforts, including but not limited to the following:
  • research papers, including those that have been prepared as a class assignment from a high school or college/university
  • publications/media
  • volunteer work for an organization (organization must provide documentation of volunteer hours)
  • being a docent
  • restoration of objects or site
  • public performance or re-enactments
  • art or exhibits depicting local history
  • oral histories
  • genealogical studies
  • digital documentaries

Click here to download more information

Click here to download the flier

2013 Young Historian Award

The Pajaro Valley Historical Association is pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the Young Historian Award. The main award goes to Mari Cervantes, a student at Watsonville High School, for her work producing a DVD "Memories Last Forever", to accompany the Centennial High School book which was produced in 1992.  Mari, through eye-catching graphics in addition to music has reproduced old photographs of the high school and went beyond 1992 to the present with additional photographs of WHS.  A number of persons viewing the DVD have expressed interest in having this at a class reunion.  Mari bridged the historical gap when she ended her presentation with "Once you become a Wildcat, you will always be a Wildcat."  And we all agree!

In addition, the following students were also awarded a prize of $100.00:

   o   Jacob Dobler, a senior at St. Francis High School, for his history of Watsonville and the part his family-      owned agricultural business has played in that history.

   o   Johnny Musser, a student at CSUMB, for his work as a volunteer in the digitization process at PVHA.

   o   Rachel Oakden, a student at Watsonville High School, for her work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

   o   Alex Solano, a student at Monte Vista High School, for an essay in praise of his hard working grandfather  who has contributed many years to our community.

2011 Young Historian Award

The Pajaro Valley Historical Association is proud to announce that the Young Historian Award, made possible by a donor through The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, has been awarded to Abigail Magno.

As she says in her essay which accompanied her submission, ”I have lived in the Pajaro Valley my entire life, more in particular, Watsonville. For seventeen years I have grown up as a person in which two cultures have come together, a blend of white American and Filipino. These cultures have traveled across the wastelands of the Dust Bowl and the warm waters of the Pacific. Taken root in the golden land of California. Worked to create Abigail Magno, a junior in high school trying to explore those very roots that have taken hold in the small town of Watsonville."

The oral history she has done with her grandfather traces his life from the Philippines to the pineapple plantations of Hawaii and eventually to Watsonville. Abby is a very talented young artist and uses the medium of the graphic novel to illustrate this journey. She has truly captured the essence of her grandfather’s story and she tells it with maturity and insight.

The $500 award was presented to our winner at the Old Timers barbecue on June 26th, 2011. Congratulations, Abigail Magno!

"Young, Young Historian" Submission

Recently we received an essay written by a 9 year old boy for a school assignment on diversity. It was sent us by the young man’s proud grandmother, PVHA member, Ann Jenkins. When the essay was completed Javier Jenkins-Sorensen was a third grader in the bi-lingual program at Alianza Charter School.

“Javi”, who loves wild animals, hiking, and Star Wars also loves to read and in particular books on World War II and the ancient Greeks and Romans. He was quite interested when his grandmother told him about the PVHA Young Historian Award and looks forward to being 16 years old when he can apply for the prize.

For the time being we hope he will continue reading and learning about history and be ready in 2018 to submit a project. We will welcome his entry! It is our honor to share his writing and wish him all the best in fourth grade.

Several immigrant groups live in Watsonville and three are described below. First there are many Japanese immigrants living in Watsonville. One Japanese American Family, the Sakaguchi family, own Miyuki, a delicious Japanese restaurant. Also many European Americans live in Watsonville. Many Italian or Portuguese worked as fishermen or in canneries. Finally, many Mexican Americans live in Watsonville. Ana Venturas was a mayor of Watsonville and Manuel Quintero Bersamin worked in the Watsonville City Council. Obviously many immigrant groups live in Watsonville.”
By Javi Jenkins

Past Young Historian Award Recipients

The Young Historian Award was established in 2009 by a donor through The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County to encourage an interest in Pajaro Valley history. This competition is open to young people between the ages of 16 and 25 and the award was made possible by the donor's Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz Country.


The prize was shared by three applicants, Alex Santana for his volunteer work at PVHA and subsequent report, Yannett Munguia for her volunteer work at Jacob's Heart and a well researched paper on the local non-profit organization and her involvement with it, and Lauren Lippman for her creation of a timeline showing the history and development of the Watsonville Airport.


The first $500 prize was awarded to two 17 year old sisters, Jacque and Jesse Simmons, from Watsonville High School for their video work documenting the first Gay Pride parade in Watsonville. Their sensitive treatment of an oftentimes controversial issue is applauded by the Pajaro Valley Historical Association and their technical work was outstanding.

Two other applicants could not be overlooked and were each awarded a $100 prize. The documentary created by Alex Ivany, a 16 year old from Santa Cruz High School showed the life and struggles of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. Lindsey Roberts along with a group of college students and Watsonville residents started a Young Farmers and Ranchers organization under the auspices of the Farm Bureau.

Congratulations to all these Young Historians! 
Jeannie Nunez,
Feb 20, 2014, 1:52 PM
Jeannie Nunez,
Feb 20, 2014, 1:52 PM
Jeannie Nunez,
Feb 20, 2014, 1:53 PM