Future Legends announces selection of 2023 scholars

Tim Cady, Heather Manion, Kathy McElhinney, Jessica Kim, Norma Wiberg, Katherine Foster, Eric Manese
Tim Cady, Heather Manion, Kathy McElhinney, Jessica Kim, Norma Wiberg, Katherine Foster, Eric Manese
(Norma Wiberg)

The Future Legends Selection Committee recently announced the newest recipients of their scholarship and mentorship program. The 2023 recipients include: Clara Steers, a senior at Pacific Ridge High School; Elsa Steers, a senior at Pacific Ridge High School; Ethan Hirschorn, a senior at Oceanside High School; and Drew Nelles, a senior at High Tech High Mesa.

This latest class of scholars have all achieved a grade point average of 4.0 or higher, in addition to taking honor classes, participating in sports and extracurricular activities, and displaying leadership among their peers by demonstrating initiative, determination, and commitment.

In an incredible testimony to the generosity of its donors, Future Legends announced that for the first time ever, this year they were able to bestow the scholarship on four students, according to a news release. The Selection Committee is composed of several volunteers who first review all the applications to narrow down the option to six applicants. They then spent all day on a Saturday interviewing these finalists to make the difficult decision of choosing the final four.

Each spring, Future Legends bestows financial scholarships and mentorship programs to assist deserving scholars in the pursuit of their dreams of both undergraduate and post graduate educations. The submission process includes an online application, essay, teacher recommendations, academic transcripts, and live interviews. The newest scholars join 17 existing scholars studying at UCLA, UCSD, SDSU and CSSM, Westmont College in addition to scholars at Gordon College in Massachusetts, University of Michigan, Drexel University, John Hopkins University, and Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

Once awarded a Future Legends scholarship, the scholar’s partial tuition grant is renewable each year that the student remains enrolled in pursuing their degree. In the event that a scholar wishes to continue his or her education towards earning an advanced degree, Future Legends will continue to support that scholar in their endeavor. Currently, there are six scholars enrolled in advanced degree programs: one in law school, three in medical school, one in engineering, and one in environmental science. To date, this program has so far enabled 31 young men and women to successfully pursue undergraduate degrees.

In the national landscape of scholarship programs, a significant differentiator in the Future Legends program is the selection of a mentor who is paired with a scholar within their field of study for guidance, career insights, and networking. Mentors are accomplished professionals in their respective fields who have dedicated themselves to developing this next generation of leaders. The result at Future Legends is a 100% graduation rate in 11 years of continuous operation.

“It is with excitement and pleasure that we award these scholarships to Clara, Elsa, Ethan and Drew,” stated Vearl Smith, chairman of Future Legends, in the news release. “Each has demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement and community involvement. We expect all three to excel as they pursue their goals to be legendary in their respective fields.”

Future Legends is a Rancho Santa Fe -based 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing mentors and financial support to deserving high school seniors embarking on college education. Visit for more information.