We’re happy to announce the recipients of the 2015 PiE Alumni Scholarship, including four $100 finalists and the $1500 main award recipient!

For the second year, the PiE scholarship committee, a group consisting of PiE staff alumni, selected the scholars from high school student participants in PiE’s 2015 competition. Each scholar was individually recognized during the awards ceremony at the 2015 Robotics Competition.

In their applicants, each student provided information on academic achievement, leadership skills, and extracurricular activities. The committee selected the following students as outstanding examples of the many exceptional participants in PiE, and were asked to join the committee for an interview. PiE alumna Vanathi Ganesh (EECS ‘13) presented the awards and gave these short descriptions of our finalists.

Simon Jun Hao Hu - Balboa High School: Simon is an extremely hard-working and proactive student both inside and outside the classroom. He demonstrates strong leadership and organizational skills, both important skills that we value in PiE. He was also able to build up his non-technical skills by participating in mock trial. gaining the confidence to speak before an audience. Simon will be studying Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego.

Brissa Mejia - Lionel Wilson: We are amazed by the breadth of Brissa’s endeavors and her outstanding academics. She is the rare student who shines in both the artistic and technical fields, with long-running commitments to orchestra, debate, entrepreneurship, and now robotics. We’re excited to see Brissa at Cal next year!

Sam Lee - Campolindo High School: Sam is a well-rounded candidate who demonstrated a dedication to helping others achieve success in STEM fields through his many years of volunteer work, including here at LHS. His dedication to PiE and alignment to our mission is unparalleled. Sam will be studying Computer Engineering at either UC Davis or UC Irvine in the Fall.

Jarelly Martinez - Lighthouse Community Charter School: An extremely impressive, self-motivated student, Jarelly has already achieved a great deal in her academic career at her young age, and hopes to give back to her community by starting her own STEM outreach non-profit. We’re excited to welcome Jarelly to Cal, where she’ll be studying Computer Science!

Pedro Becerra - Community Day: Our $1500 scholarship winner this year was Pedro Becerra. Pedro passed through several high schools in the Oakland Unified School District before arriving and excelling at Community Day, representing the school in two seasons of the PiE Robotics Competition. Energetic and inspired despite his rocky start, Pedro shows that the right opportunities and environment can empower students to achieve great success. One of his teachers summed him up perfectly: “The Pedro you’ll meet today is still gentle and sweet, but he has found his voice and is a leader amongst his peers.” We are proud of Pedro, and hope that our $1500 scholarship will support his educational career at Chabot Community College and beyond!

We are deeply grateful for the financial and technical support provided by TBP and PiE alumni to explore this new avenue of supporting STEM education in the Bay Area. We wish our finalists and all our graduating seniors the best of luck in their future endeavours, and are excited to see what these bright young minds will achieve!

If you would also like to support the PiE Alumni Scholarship for next year, please consider making a donation! Any contribution is welcome. Donations can be made to Fund Number 3231 on the Give to Cal website. At the bottom of the form, please write “Scholarship” in the field titled “Special instructions or designations for this gift”.