An annual scholarship fund is being established in memory of Juanita Varela Childs, a high school Spanish teacher at Carbon High, who was tragically killed in a car accident with her husband Kim, and 8 year old son Mason on Dec. 11, 2005. They were returning from Salt Lake City after hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Juanita had taught for 13 years and was known as the heartbeat of Carbon High. Born in Mexico, she moved to Los Angeles with her father and four younger brothers after her mother deserted the family. Her father, who earned $600 a month as a custodian at UCLA, instilled in her a love of life and value for education.
She joined the Mormon Church when she was a teenager. Upon completing high school, she boarded a Greyhound bus for BYU-Idaho and then transferred to BYU. During this time she completed her mission in Chicago, often giving away her belongings to those in need. She graduated from BYU in April 1992, with a major in Spanish teaching, and a minor in ESL. While at BYU, she started the first Mexican American student's club.
In 1993, Juanita married the love of her life, Kimball Childs from Castle Dale. Their son Mason was born four years later. Their home was in Price.
Four scholarships will be awarded each year to students who are graduating from Carbon High. They will be students who, like Juanita, have overcome adversity and are continuing on with their educations. A priority will be given to students who have been involved in public service.
Carbon High is being joined by many supporters in this scholarship drive. More than $3,000 has already been donated. They hope to raise $50,000 that will allow the scholarships to be given in perpetuity to deserving students. The fund will also be supported each year by a student fund raising drive at Carbon High.