Milan and Judith Caratan Scholarship
The Caratan’s have a long history of supporting Catholic education. Judy Caratan attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Delano when Msgr. Leddy was the pastor. Milan Caratan was on the St. Mary’s Catholic School Bus Committee and was responsible for making sure the bus passed all the CHP mechanical inspections. The bus was funded by many of the farmers in Delano. That yellow school bus brought many Delano students to Garces. The Caratan children also attended St. Mary’s School like their mother and went on to graduate from Garces Memorial: Cathleen Caratan Moses ’88, Joan Caratan Lenny ’93, and Jill Caratan ’93.
The Caratan’s wanted to give more children the opportunity to attend Garces Memorial they set up a need-based scholarship for an incoming Garces freshman who is a graduate of a Catholic elementary school.
The scholarship requires the student to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA and be in good standing with the school to receive the scholarship for four consecutive years. Candidates for the scholarship are identified through the school’s financial aid process and are selected by the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. The original scholarship was funded by Judy and Milan Caratan. Upon Milan’s passing, memorial contributions were added to the scholarship balance. Judith Caratan continues funding her husband’s legacy.
Although Milan has been gone for many years, as has the yellow school bus, it indirectly influenced another foundation scholarship for Garces Memorial. Jean and Earl Leach use to see the yellow school bus taking the students back and forth to Garces, and they, too, decided that they would like to help students attend Garces. Garces now has the Earl and Jean Leach Project Lead the Way Room and the Leach Scholarship. So a big thank you to the Caratan Family for helping transport students to Garces, funding many students’ education at Garces over the years, and for being an inspiration and an example in our community that led others to follow their lead.