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Produced by Almaden Valley Rotary Club


Article in San Jose Mercury News, June 30, 2004
By Mark Gomez

Jaime Uriarte is one of nine Santa Clara County graduated seniors who received scholarships for overcoming adversity through sports from the Charlie Wedemeyer Family Outreach Scholarship and the San Jose Sports Authority REACH Youth Scholarship.

The winners and nominees dealt with family illnesses, economic and personal hardships, and losses to excel in the classroom and playing fields.

As the top winner of the San Jose Sports Authority REACH Youth Scholarship, Uriarte was awarded $2500 and two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines. He is using the freebies to fly to his freshman orientation at San Diego State.

"We weren't sure the car would make it," said Laura Uriarte, Jaime's mom.

Jaime, his mother and his sister have endured a tough road. After being evicted from their home, the family stayed in hotels and motels while making ends meet. Some nights, they slept in the car. There were days when Uriarte did not know where home would be.

But he forgot about his personal liffe by burying himself in schoolwork and athletics. He excelled in International Baccalaureate classes, which require a minimum grade-point average of 3.4. He was a top player on the football team and earned all-league honors three times. He was voted the team's most valuable player twice and captain three times.

Although he was accepted by Michigan State and Oregon, his desire to play football led him to San Diego State, where he hopes to walk on. Uriarte was chosen to play in the upcoming Charlie Wedemeyer all-star football game, and his family now has a home through a low-income housing program.