Montebello High School
U.C. Santa Barbara
Armando Espinoza has an unshakeable commitment to better his life and his community. Raised by a mother who taught him “that a woman can play the role of father and mother for her family,” he knows first hand the sacrifices we all must make for our loved ones. His drive to succeed, “to be the one who made it to college,” was formed after witnessing his mother work as a domestic worker. We believe Armando has achieved tremendous success.
He graduated in the top 5% of his class from Montebello High School. The selection committee was also moved by his promise to help others in his community. He hopes to one day become a role model for Mexican youths in Montebello, to inspire and motivate them “to do better in their schooling.” Armando wants to lift them out of neighborhoods where crime and substance abuse are common and to empower Mexican youths to reject “the negative stereotypes” that are often placed on them. We are deeply honored to help Armando be the change he wishes to see in his community and to name him as a scholarship recipient.
Arroyo High School
U.C. San Diego
Hanh On is not someone you forget; her spirit, strength, and wisdom captivate you, and you immediately know that she has the ability to change lives. Born from Vietnamese refugee parents, she has had to deal with numerous instabilities in her life. Among the struggles was her inability “to believe in [her] own self-worth.” She felt that she “never had the nice clothes,” “never had the right name,” and “never knew what to say.”
Ultimately, Hanh overcame these struggles. In doing so, she found her calling. Hanh dreams of becoming “an elementary school teacher in a low-income neighborhood” because she wants to “empower children and solidify [their] self-esteem.” She “want[s] to teach people that where they are from or where their parents are from may inhibit them at first, but it ultimately does not define who they can potentially become.” We wholeheartedly want her to succeed, and are proud to help make her dream a reality!
Alhambra High School
Oscar Wong will undoubtedly accomplish great things in his lifetime. He graduated fourth in his class with a cumulative GPA of 4.42. He has a black belt in karate and served as President of the Associate Student Body. Clearly, the question is not what can Oscar do well, but what can’t Oscar do well! The selection committee, however, was more impressed with Oscar’s understanding, appreciation, and gratitude for the sacrifices his parents have made for him and his sister. They came to America as refugees from the Vietnam War.
Despite having to work multiple jobs, learn English, and face discrimination, his parents have provided Oscar with a supportive, caring family environment, in which he has grown and matured into a hardworking and well-rounded individual. Oscar plans to major in Economics at Stanford University and to eventually start his own business. We are sure that Oscar will be on Forbes Magazine in no time.
Rosemead High School
Pisacha Wichianchan is imbued with compassion and empathy. She has volunteered over 690 hours with organizations like Agape Home for Orphaned Children with HIV/AIDS in Chiang Mai, Thailand and AIDS Project Los Angeles. As President of the California Scholarship Federation, she started a free tutoring program at a local elementary school. These are just a few examples of how committed Pisacha is to serve others.
She wants to become a college administrator and volunteer with Teachers Without Borders in order to “improve the living conditions of underprivileged children in developing areas.” We know she will succeed. She graduated near the top of her class with a GPA of 4.10. She did so while serving as captain of varsity track and field and as an elected leader on the Associate Student Body. We are proud to recognize Pisacha’s work and hope we can play a role, however small, in helping her improve the lives of so many.