Since it was founded in 1986 as a tribute to actor Tom Hernandez, the nonprofit Don Diego Scholarship Foundation has worked to preserve San Diego’s deep agricultural roots while bringing people together to support future generations of leaders in pursuit of their college career and goals. The foundation, which was established as a facet of the San Diego County Fair and the Del Mar Fairgrounds, originally provided scholarships on a modest scale.


Over the years, thanks to an increasing pool of generous donors, Don Diego’s scholarships have increased from $1,000 to three students each to $44,000 shared between 14 students annually, with the most outstanding of students receiving $10,000. “We’re most proud of our 165 scholarship recipients, who have used the $572,500 in funding to pursue their college and career goals and give back to their community,” said Executive Director Chana Mannen. From Stanford to MIT to numerous state universities, scholarship recipients have carved out a national footprint of higher education. To learn more about the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation visit