Woman’s Club Hands Out Scholarships


Louise Bilicich Memorial Scholarship

Second year for the Louise Bilicich Memorial Scholarship: Cassandra Nunez (from left), Michala Chin, Madison Dueck, Samantha Sakai and Emily Bennett were awarded scholarships Friday by members of the Watsonville Woman’s Club during their monthly meeting that included lunch.

WATSONVILLE. The Watsonville Woman’s Club on Friday awarded scholarships to five young women who are soon to graduate from high school and continue their education.

It was the second year for the $1,000 Louise Bilicich Memorial Scholarship to be awarded, established after the longtime educator died in 2014.
“I’m honored that Watsonville Woman’s Club has given these scholarships in my mom’s name,” Watsonville City Councilwoman Nancy Bilicich said. “She would be pleased.”

Madison Dueck of Aptos High School and Cassandra Nunez of St. Francis High School each received that award.

The club also award ed three $500 Watsonville Woman’s Club Scholarships to Michala Chin of Aptos High, and Emily Bennett and Samantha Sakai of Watsonville High. Dueck plans to attend UC Berkeley to study pre-business, with hopes to work in the tech or social media industry. “I was very honored,” she said. Bennett will attend UC Los Angeles to study neuroscience.

The five women were chosen from 36 applications from 12 high schools.

Watsonville Woman’s Club chair Rhea DeHart said the scholarships are a way to help future generations. “We realize that our future depends on the young people of today,” she said. “When you look at the applications you realize how much talent there is in this community, and how much potential there is to make a difference. That’s what this is all about.”

Louise Bilicich taught physical education at Watsonville High School for nearly 40 years and remained active in the community after her retirement. She died in 2014 at 91.

She married WHS head custodian Louis Bilicich after the pair met at the school in 1945. Their marriage lasted more than 64 years.

She was inducted into the WHS Hall of Fame in 2013 as a Friend of the Wildcatz, the same year as her husband, who graduated from WHS in 1936.

The Watsonville Woman’s Club gives out several other scholarships every year, in addition to college-bound high school students. This includes to the Cabrillo College Foundation, the Santa Cruz County Music Teachers’ Association and Watsonville/Aptos Adult Education.


To make a contribution to the Louise Bilicich Memorial Scholarship, please contact the Watsonville Woman’s Club Foundation. Make checks to Watsonville Woman’s Club Foundation with a note to the Louise Bilicich Memorial Scholarship.