Menlo-Atherton Academy Program announces 2020 scholarship winners – and update on past recipients

by Chris Rubin on June 2, 2020

The Menlo-Atherton High School Academy Program is proud to announce the recipients of our 2020 Academy Scholarships. These students include:

Elder Lopez Moreno. Elder will be attending Cal Poly Pomona next fall and will be majoring in Landscape Architecture. Elder is the first in his family to graduate from high school and attend college. He is graduating from M-A with a 3.26GPA. He noted about his Academy experience: “The Academy shaped me into the person that I am today. The Academy allowed me to visit different companies in the Bay Area where I learned what it takes to get a job in those companies. This motivated me to work extra hard to attend college with the hopes of having a similar job in the future.” Elder will receive $2,500/yr during his 4 years at Cal Poly Pomona.

Jaqueline Arias Escobar. Jackie will be attending California State University, Northridge and will be focused on earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Jackie is graduating with a 3.667GPA. Regarding her Academy experience, Jackie noted: “Joining the Academy is the best decision I have made in high school because the support I received from everyone helped me become the resilient, determined, straight A student I am today. There were many times where I felt stuck academically and teachers always accommodated my needs. They also made me realize that I could turn my weaknesses into strengths.

Regarding her excitement for college, Jackie said: “I am so passionate about going to college because no one in my family has ever graduated from high school or attended college. I want to be the first in my family to receive my bachelor’s degree or higher, break the cycle of poverty, and create a better future for myself and my loved ones.” Jackie will receive $1,000/yr during her 4 years at CSU Northridge.

Alba Ortiz Samuy: Alba will be attending San Francisco State University next fall and will also be pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Alba is the first in her family to graduate from high school and will be the first in her family to go to college. Alba is graduating from M-A with a 3.136GPA. Shea noted that “without financial aid I would not be able to attend college. I am lucky to have friends who are loyal, teachers who have worked tirelessly on my behalf, and mentors who have made it a mission to see me succeed. Having people in my life cheering for me, has given me the motivation to work hard in school and push beyond the barriers towards my goals for a better future.” Alba will receive $1,000/yr during her 4 years at San Francisco State University.

Jacqueline Hernandez: Jacqueline will be attending Foothill College next fall and will be studying to be a Veterinary Technician. Jacqueline wanted to note her appreciation for this scholarship as it allows her to “pursue my hopes and dreams made possible by your donations. The Scholarship motivates me to work harder and be more confident in my abilities.” Jacqueline will receive $500/yr during her two years at Foothill College.

Here is some information about our previous four-year college scholarship award winners:

2017: Victor Escatel. Rising Senior at San Jose State University, graduating May 2021 and a proud Spartan. Victor is majoring in Industrial Technology/Computer Electronics & Network Tech. We have supported Victor with $2,500 annually every year he has been in college and are excited to support him this coming year, his final year at San Jose State University!

2018: Elio Calderon: Rising Junior at San Francisco State University, graduating May 2022. Elio is majoring in Computer Science and loves the “inclusive and welcoming community of San Francisco State.”. We have supported Elio with $2,500 annually every year he has been in college and will continue to do so through his expected graduation date of May 2022..

2019: Melody De La Quintana: Recently completed her freshman year at University of Redlands. Melody is studying Business Administration and Political Science. Melody also loves the “diverse and welcoming community” University of Redlands provides. She also highlighted that “as a first generation student, I enrolled in a class called STEP, which pairs her with a first generation upperclassmen who mentors/guides her with anything from handling school to social life at the University. Melody received $2,500 this year and will continue to receive $2,500 annually during her 4 years at University of Redlands.

2019: Andrea Zuniga Garcia: Completed her freshman year at Chico State University studying biological science and pre-nursing. Andrea noted that she “was terrified to have to have to go away from home and enter a new environment where I didn’t know anyone but I adapted quickly. In middle school and up until I joined the Academy program, I had very little hope that I would even graduate high school. Luckily my high school Academy teachers showed me great passion for working with students which made it easy to communicate and reach out to them for help regardless of whether it was about school or a personal issue. This has further helped me in college as I have opened up and grown a connection with every professor I have at Chico where they often check in with me to ask if I am okay and/or if there is anything they can help with.” Andrea was sure to mention that she just completed her freshman year with a 3.6GPA while taking a total of 37 units!! Andrea received $1,000 this year and will continue to receive $1,000 annually during her 4 years at Chico State.

Lastly, here is some outstanding information about our programs overall success this year. We have 45 graduating seniors. Twenty eight of our 45 graduates met minimum college eligibility requirements. This means over 60% of our students met college eligibility requirements set forth by the California State Universities and University of California. In comparison, between 28%-38% of students of similar backgrounds accomplish this statewide. Sixteen of our 45 students, have committed to attending 4-year universities next year.

Our program is always accepting donations. Every donation makes both a significant and direct impact on these students’ lives as evidenced by the exceptional outcomes highlighted above given the circumstances many of our students face.

Chris Rubin is Head of the Academy Program at Menlo-Atherton High School.

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