(A Non-profit 501(c)(3) Organization EIN#46-2146331)
Jose Lara - University of California Irvine
Thuan La - Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Attending college always seemed like a far out of reach dream for me and my family. When the Great Recession hit us, it seemed my chances of even going to a state school would become impossible. Nevertheless, through great perseverance and skillful guidance from my teachers and friends at Western High School, I managed to apply and get accepted to Brown University, a lesser known Ivy League school.
As I previously mentioned, finances are a big concern for my family and I. Luckily, getting accepted into such a prestigious university allowed me to secure a big financial aid award letter; but unfortunately, financial aid doesn’t cover more detailed academic expenses such as my flights and textbooks. The Western High School Pioneers Forever Scholarship is what allows me to attend Brown University, my dream school, by covering these secondary expenses that my family could not afford.
I’m currently a first year with an undecided concentration in biology following the general premedical pathway. I hope to graduate in 2022 and enroll in Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Besides taking multiple (almost exclusive) STEM courses during school, I’m making the attempt to help the local community here in Providence, RI by becoming a medical interpreter at Rhode Island Hospital. Through this intensive internship, I hope to expand my Spanish, medical terminology, and customer service skills, as well as help low-income patients receive the high-quality health services they deserve. Furthermore, I’m also engaging with several multicultural clubs such as Vietnamese Student Association, Chinese Student Association, and Korean American Student Association so I could further understand my peers of different ethnicities and keep an open mind.
Without the WHS Pioneers Forever Scholarship I wouldn’t be able to engage myself with all the things I’m currently doing. I would’ve been too preoccupied with finances rather than taking this time to enjoy my college experience. For this, and many other reasons, I am extremely thankful for the Western High School Alumni Association. For their charity and pride towards Western High School, the alumni association deserves countless recognition and gratitude.
I’m currently a student at UCLA studying in the major of Physics. My experience so far in college has been good. A lot of that has had to do with not having to worry about financial costs.
My next quarter of housing bill is coming up, and thankfully with my loans my parents and I have no problem gathering up what it leftover to be paid. That leaves us at ease knowing that we don’t have to worry about the costs of my textbooks, since it being the holiday season left us with much less to spend. Having this scholarship money has been such a great thing to have, because it saves me from having to worry about financial costs.
Not having that stress helps me to focus more on my academics and other things in my life. I’ve had such an enlightening experience to see the change of pace college is to that from high school. I’ve had my obstacles and experiences to see through to be able to accommodate myself to this shift. Getting to know new people and participating in fun events has been great. Not having to worry too much about money left me to have choices at some things that’s costs were more pricey. I attended sporting events such as the football game between UCLA and USC, which was a lot of fun. I’ve also been to social events in my dorm building and presentations from alumni. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this experiences if I had been worrying over how I was going to pay for my housing expenses. Yes, my classes are more challenging, but that’s all I really have to focus on. I’m a lot more at ease knowing that I’m going to a great school, having a great time, and not falling into a financial crisis.
This scholarship has been a great help to not only my parents’ bank accounts, but my ease of mind as well. I’m incredibly thankful to have received it, and I’m sure to put my efforts into succeeding through my academic and social life at school.
The WHSPFAA Scholarship meant so much to me-- it was a gift worth much more than the number of dollars provided. It felt wonderful standing on stage and realizing that my alma mater saw so much potential in a kid like myself. It signified more than Western High School's Alumni supporting me, it signified the belief that so many teachers, coaches, and my community had in me, and that belief is something one cannot put into words.
Receiving this scholarship makes me want to succeed-- not just for my own good, but to prove everyone who believed in me right. I don't exaggerate when I say I love Western High and would love to give back in the not so far future myself, but to do that, I've got to do my best right here, right now.
Currently, I am entering my second year at the University of California, Los Angeles. I have explored many career pathways and fields of study since arriving. I now am a Pre-Psychobiology major/Asian-American Studies minor pursuing a career in physical therapy. I've shadowed local physical therapists in Cypress, and I am beginning a Sports Medicine Internship Program-- one that allows me to continue shadowing physical therapists here as well as help our school's student-athletes. Aside from academics (I am currently sporting a 3.3 GPA), I am involved in putting on programs for the Vietnamese-American community at UCLA via the Vietnamese Student Union, and I am also working with UCLA Recreation in between classes to earn some extra money.
I am currently in my 2nd year at the University of California Riverside. I recently declared a 2nd major in Education along with my initial major in Gender and Sexualities Studies. So far, my college experience has been amazing and full of many memories. A big reason I am able to have such a wonderful college experience is because of the aid I have had the opportunity to receive.
One of those aids being the WHSPFAA Scholarship. I can still remember the day I received this scholarship. I felt very accomplished and honored to know that my high school had see the hard work and care I have for my community. I hope to one day be able to return to my community and be able to continue to make an impact. I know that I must focus and work hard now; not only for myself, but everyone back home that has supported, motivated, and inspired me thus far. I want to be an example to students that sit in the place I once was...it is possible.
As I enter my winter quarter, I am looking forward to continuing to unavailing my new declared major in Education. I really enjoy the professors within the field and have been able to make some great connections with many of my colleagues and professors. I am also very excited to begin my new job as an EAOP In-Classroom Math Tutor for the 8th grade. I look forward to helping students be able to grow academically and personally and inspiring them to continue to strive to achieve their goals. Academically, I continue to be challenged and motivated by everything I am learning. Aside from academics, I am heavily involved in the club, Queer Alliance, here on campus; I hold the position of treasurer. We are currently working very hard on our winter event, The Coming Out Monologues. My other involvements include RHA ( Resident Hall Association), where we put on programs for current residence in the campus apartments.
This past quarter has been exceptionally great to me! At UCI, I realized I was ahead in my computer engineering pathway so I decided to take a senior level class. I was one of the only juniors to do so (although the option was open to everyone else) and took an extra class this quarter instead of the recommended 13 units. I took the hardest class I have ever taken, a class in semiconductors, but surprisingly, everything worked out really well. I ended off with a 3.41 this quarter and even though it was lower than what I wanted, I'm glad that I focused more on learning the applications of the concepts learned.
I now direct the dance team that I was in a year ago! The G.O.O.D. Project placed fifth at Bridge Dance Competition, competing against many teams and even those from UCI. It's been a huge step up and has helped me improve on my time management skills.
I still work at UCI Student Housing. I'm in the process of trying to get an internship though. I want to get one before I leave college so I have some skills before going into the real world.
Balancing all this has been very difficult, but I'm getting into the flow of things. This upcoming quarter, I am taking two extra classes than recommended. I'm excited to see how it will go! Let me know when the Zelle payment comes. Thank you very much for your time.
I recently received in the mail that I am part of the Top 1% at CSUF for my 4.0 GPA for Spring 2018. Over the Summer I balanced an education internship at the Chance Theatre and having an orientation leader job at CSUF for the department of Outreach, Recruitment, and Orientation. So over the Summer, I was working with high school student by directing their student written productions; also, helping new students and transfers transition into college. My Summer was incredibly busy but very rewarding!
As for this school year, I have a very heavy activities workload and school load. For activities, I recently received news that I will be the new Student Coordinator for Outreach, Recruitment, and Orientation! Other positions I hold is I am Vice President of Technology for National Society of Collegiate Scholars, I am a Project Director for Student, Life, and Leadership ( I create activities to bring for the kids at Orangewood), I am the co-chair for the Student Advisory Committee for CSUF Theatre and Dance Department, and I am part of NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship Program. I discovered that I have a strong passion to work in higher education, so after I graduate from CSUF, I will pursue a masters in higher education. As for school, I have started my directing track required in my Theatre major with an emphasis in education degree . It is a work heavy class that requires outside rehearsals and many papers. I am also stage managing my first showcase in November.
Overall, I have hectic months ahead of me but I look forward to the triumphs and learning opportunities that will come with them.
Since last year I have served as Vice President of External Affairs for the Berkeley Student Cooperative. The Berkeley Student Cooperative is a non-profit housing provider with a $10.5 million operating budget. It is entirely student-run and we serve over 1250 plua students. We provide affordable housing to low-income students that would otherwise not be able to afford a university education.
Additionally, I was a Lab Manager for a UC Berkeley Psychology lab, a Database Coordinator between several psychology labs, and a full-time student.
I have just finished my final semester at UC Berkeley and will be completing the last semester of my degree at Carlos III University in Madrid, Spain. With help from the WHSPFAA Scholarship I have been able to save enough money to travel and study abroad while I am still a student.
The WHSPFAA Scholarship has meant a tremendous amount to me throughout my years at UC Berkeley. The California Bay Area is one of the least affordable places in the United States. With the increasing prices of tuition and rent many students are not able to find secure housing and food.
Thanks to the WHSPFAA I have been able to complete three and a half years at the world number one public university. With the help from all of the donors I have been able to gain a college level education while keeping a roof over my head and food in my stomach.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you for reaching out to me and and supporting me with the WHSPFAA scholarship for the three years in college! The scholarship helped to cover the expensive costs of textbooks and other materials like lab fees for my major courses. I'm thankful for being a recipient of such generosity and support from WHSPFAA!
Throughout college there were some changes in my major, starting as a Chemistry major, then Biochemistry, and finally General Biology. Although the classes were tough I was able to receive a lot of support from my friends and family to overcome the stress and successfully graduate in 3 years. Alongside with my classes, I was and still am an active member in Acts2Fellowship, a Christian fellowship in UCSD, since freshmen year. I was able to meet my dearest friends there and also serve the community through volunteer opportunities such as Elderly Care Ministry, which I served up until this year.
Towards the end of my college year I wanted to switch my career path to web development and coding because it seemed to be a better fit for me in the future. I'm currently enrolled in a Web Development Program where I learn how to code full-stack websites.
I'm excited for the new whspfaa website and can't wait to see all updated.Thank you for all your support! Oh, I forgot to tell you, I didn't need the fourth year installment - I graduated in three years!
Matthew Halstenberg - California State University Fullerton
Kim Truong - University of California Los Angeles
Justin Botejue - Whitworth University Spokane, WA
Miranda Pham - University of California Los Angeles
Benjamin Holguin - California State University Fullerton
Miranda Phan - University of California Los Angeles
Kevin Ngo - University of California San Diego
Graduated with BS Computer Science
Czarina Obieta - California Polytechnic Pomona