Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation
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UCLA bound in September with a major in biochemistry
First generation college student
>Travel to Ethiopia next summer to volunteer and shadow physicians at the hospital which was built with the help of a former Kaiser Employee
>Attend medical school and become a pediatric cardiologist
>Become an advocate for my community and for under-resourced countries around the world
Yesenia Apreza is a $2,500 Edison International scholarship recipient. She earned all As since middle school, has a 4.5 (weighted) grade point average on a scale of 4.0, and was ranked third in her class of 492 students. Yesenia's academic path included advanced placement (AP) classes that are commonly known to be more challenging. She had a distinguished schedule of AP classes which included AP Pre-Calculus/Calculus, History, and English. Preparing for the college track, Yesenia also took academically demanding classes such as trigonometry and physics. Her Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score was 1350, outpacing the national average score of 1060. Yesenia will be taking her skills to the University of California at Irvine, where she will be majoring in biochemistry. According to school counselor, Priscilla Grijalva, Yesenia loves challenging herself and recently started a Reach Higher Club. The Reach Higher Club is a national initiative which promotes equity by viewing every student as being capable of enrolling in and completing their education, past high school, in a training program, community college or four-year educational institution. Her efforts caught the attention of Michelle Obama's Reach Higher executive director and Yesenia received a national ward commending her efforts to start a program at her school. Yesenia volunteered at her school helping students with financial aid and scholarship applications. In addition, she volunteered at Kaiser Permanente Hospital where she accrued over 300 hours of community service. She is a first generation college student and strives to inspire her siblings and community.
Savannah Petty is another 2019 scholarship recipient who applied through the Buford A. Johnson Chapter in Riverside, California. Savannah will be attending the U. S. Air Force Academy majoring in physics and training to be a pilot. She attended Ramona High School where she earned a 4.03 (weighted) grade point average (GPA). Weighted GPA is often used by high schools to better represent student's academic accomplishments. The weighted GPA takes into account course difficulty rather than providing the same letter grade to GPA conversion for every student.
Savannah, a 17-year old student, comes from a financially under-resourced family of four girls. Raised primarily by her mother in an environment of self-reliance, Savannah says "Within our household, the environment was to overachieve everyone and anyone, and not succumb to distractions." Savannah describes herself as assertive, proud and "woke," and her counselor sees her as intelligent, passionate, and overwhelmingly humble. “Savannah loves people and is a genuinely super person,” writes her school counselor.
Savannah was a four-year basketball starter, president of the Black Student Union and served as the Publicity Officer for Ramona's Model United Nations Club. Her athletic and academic honors include Lady Ram of the Year, Girls State Elected Controller, All-Team Tourney Ramona Winter Classic, and Arts Magnet Student of the Month. To be certain that she would have enough money to meet her personal expenses, Savannah recently took on a part-time job at Jamba Juice.
Savannah was selected as the student speaker to close out the Riverside County Office of Education's Excellence through Equity conference and spoke to over 900 educators. She received a standing ovation at the end of her speech. It was reportedly described by one educator as "bringing great insight to those from the classroom to the board room who could shape, develop, rethink, and further develop educational equity and access for all students, particularly, students of color.”