Randall G. “Randy” Smith was the founder of the Orange County Public Affairs Association and one of the region’s most respected public affairs professionals. He was called by many as the “most influential non-elected official” in Orange County and continually delivered on behalf of his clients. His roots in Orange County were also deep. While attending Santa Ana College, he served as Student Body President in the mid-1960s.

Sadly, Randy passed away in 2003 at the age of 55. But his generous spirit and commitment to education and the profession he loved lives on in the form of the Randall G. Smith Memorial Scholarship at Santa Ana College.

This scholarship is given to a student enrolled in at least 12 units at Santa Ana College, or a Santa Ana College student who is a transferring sophomore with junior status to a four-year college or university in the upcoming fall semester.

Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA. Preference is given to Public Affairs, Political Science, Communications, or Journalism majors who demonstrate a Randy Smith-level of passion for politics, governmental relations and shares his belief in fairness, trust, and strong ethics.

For more information about the scholarship, please contact the Scholarship Coordinator at Santa Ana College, Office of College Advancement at (714) 564-6995.

2024 Scholarship Recipients

Alejandra R. Vaca - 2024 Recipient

Alejandra is a Communications Studies Major at Santa Ana College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Fullerton in 2025. She is a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member.

A resident of Santa Ana, Alejandra hope to become a Librarian with the goal of creating a space in which all communities have equal access to quality education and educational opportunities.  She wishes to focus on serving the educational needs of the Latino community and younger people from underserved and underrepresented districts here in Orange County.

Jacqueline “Jakki” Padilla - 2024 Recipient

Jakki is a Journalism & Media Studies and English major at Santa Ana College. She plans to transfer to California State University, Long Beach and major in Public Relations.

During her time at Santa Ana, Jakki participated in poetry reading and photography competitions and was a managing editor at the el Don newspaper with many responsibilities during their recent 100th anniversary.

A resident of Anaheim, she plans to pursue a career in Public Relations for the automotive, tech, education or beauty industry.

Eman M. Tavassoli - 2024 Recipient

Eman is a Communications major at Santa Ana College, transferring to the University of California, Berkley in the fall. He plans to major in Society & Environment.

A resident of Irvine, he has been involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.

Eman plans to pursue a career as a United States Environmental Policy Advisor.

Esteban Zeferino Charco - 2024 Recipient

Esteban is a Political Science major at Santa Ana College, transferring to California State University, Long Beach in the fall. Beyond that, he plans to attend law school and become a criminal defense lawyer or public defender.

At Santa Ana College, Esteban was the representative for the Project Rise student club which helps formerly incarcerated students. He was also involved with Rising Scholars, a group that helps those students who have been impacted by the justice system. He participated in Community Legal Information, Resource and Referral Clinics, which provided free legal clinics to students and the community throughout the school year.

Esteban is a resident of Orange, but grew up in Santa Ana.