First General Bank 2016 Scholarship Winners
The Rowland Unified School District Board of Education would like to thank First General Bank who has for the fourth year established the First General Bank Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to graduating Rowland Unified School District high school students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and community involvement. Five scholarship awards were presented this year for the amount of $1,000 each to provide financial assistance for their higher education expenses. Mr. Wilson Mach, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for First General Bank – and a proud RUSD parent – was on the panel that reviewed the applicants and essays submitted from each high school. The Board thanks him for his continued support and he joined the Board of Education Meeting last night, May 10, 2016, to present scholarships to each of the following deserving students:
Genesee Alina Ayala from Nogales High School: Ms. Ayala has excelled at the top of her class, being a diploma candidate for the International Baccalaureate program and earning a 4.5 grade point average, ranked 6th in her class. This year she was involved in Mock Trial, was President of the Science Club and a team leader for the Solar Boat Club, which cemented her love and passion for both mechanical and electrical engineering. She has also been active with the Bank of America volunteer team, where she was involved with various community events, including the Special Olympics. Genesee is also an athlete, coaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu martial arts for kids since 10th grade. Since 10th grade, she has attended Scripps College Academy, a pre-college program for high-achieving young women to develop skills to be successful in college. Her goal is become a mechanical engineer at Scripps College or Barnard College.
Leslie Escalante from Nogales High School: Ms. Escalante is an active leader on campus, being involved in ASB as the Senior Vice President and has been a five-year member of the Nogales Noble Regiment. This year she served as the Color Guard Captain where she had the honor of performing in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. With a 4.0 grade point average, she is also involved in the National Honors Society, the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, a member of E.L. P.L.A.N.E.T.A. Club, and received the RUSD Bilingual Medal. She is the first generation to live in America and is proud that her parents gave her constant support and motivated her to do her best in school. She is thrilled that this scholarship will allow her to help her parents with her college education expenses since they have made so many sacrifices. Her desire is to enter the healthcare field and study nursing, and attend a four year university such as Mt. Saint Mary’s University.
Alejandra L. Hernandez from Nogales High School: Ms. Hernandez is an academic scholar as both an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate and AP student, with a 4.3 grade point average. She is passionate about volunteering, saying that it eases her stress from school and loves to interact with others which is an important component of her life. She has been involved in her community by volunteering at the La Puente Library, where she encouraged children to read in the summer ‘Paw’s to Read” program and assisted with library special events. She also volunteers at the La Puente Community Center as part of the T.E.E.N. Voice program, where she helped organize events such as the La Puente Halloween Maze, La Puente Christmas Parade and fundraise for the center events. She is a first generation student here and her goals is to make her Mother proud with a successful career. Her goal is enter the medical field where she plans to become an Optometrist, since she has worn glasses since the age of 5 and believes she can have a real connection with people while having a job that interests her. She has been accepted to CSULB.
Rebekah Paerels from Rowland High School: Ms. Paerels is an active member of her campus and AP scholar, with a 4.27 GPA. Active is a key word, since she has been involved in roller hockey for 12 years, and last summer was a volunteer coach for a team of kids ages 6 to 8. On campus she is President of the French Club, Member of the Best Buddies Program and California Scholarship Federation, and an involved member of the Key Club where she has volunteered at events such as raising money for the Pediatric Trauma Program and food distribution at Isaiah’s Rock. She has found her passion to enter the field of education by her volunteer work at the Rainbow Child Development Center on the Campus of Rowland High School. She has been accepted to Cal Poly Pomona where she plans to major in the field of English.
Brian N. Truong from Rowland High School: Mr. Truong is passionate about serving his community and about the field of economics. With a 4.2 GPA, this student has served in leadership roles of various clubs, including Vice President of the RHS Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society and Key Club. He has volunteered in the community at several events including volunteer work at St. Angela Merici Bread of Angels, Schabarum Park beautification and volunteer work at Planet Rehab Animal Sanctuary and Huntington Beach cleanup, to also being a member of Walk MS Team at Fairplex. He is also an after school tutor at the Rowland High School Library. He thanks First General Bank for this scholarship which provides hope to students like himself who come from a single parent household and due to financial hardship, educational expenses are difficult. His dream has been to study at the University of Chicago or UCLA to study Economics.