In 2019, a memorial scholarship program for Central Coast high school students was established in honor of Juan Nevarez, who helped develop the original planting for JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery and was a beloved wine industry member whose kindness, expertise, and passion shaped many local vineyards.
Nevarez moved to Paso Robles in 1980 and spent his life working every job he could, building the skillset and knowledge he needed to both start his own vineyard management company, Nevarez Farm Labor, and own a successful eighty-acre vineyard.
Despite his fruitful career, Nevarez struggled to read and write and dreamed of giving his family the opportunity to pursue education. “Our Dad had one requirement for all his children: we must graduate from college,” shared Eufemia, Nevarez’s daughter. “It didn’t matter what we wanted to study or where, but he insisted we don’t come home until our diploma is printed and hanging on the wall in the living room!”
To recognize Nevarez’s impact on Paso Robles and support the students of winery and vineyard families in the region, Nevarez’s family, the Vineyard Team, and the Paso Robles community created the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship.
This scholarship program provides multiyear higher education investments for the children of vineyard and winery workers who are pursuing junior college, four-year universities, or trade schools. The recipients, many of whom are first-generation students, are chosen based on academic excellence, financial need, and community involvement.
In August 2022, the Vineyard Team held its second annual fundraising event to benefit the Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship, bringing together wine industry and business leaders from across the country to raise $1.3 million for the program. Top contributions included a $250,000 pledge by the Resnick Foundation, which energized more than 100 others to contribute to the spirit of giving.
All donations will help expand the program to provide more students with scholarships and the resources they need to successfully graduate. With the Resnick Foundation donation, the scholarship program will now include a dedicated college coach, modeling Wonderful Education’s College Scholarship program.
By supporting local students, nonprofit organizations, and schools, this gift embodies our mission of giving back in the places where our employees live and work and investing in the future of Paso Robles.