AAUW-OML 36 Awards Scholarships to Local, Deserving Students


    American Association of University Women-Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette (AAUW-OML) recently held a Celebration of Excellence event, highlighting STEM programs and college scholarships and awarding a total of 36 scholarships to middle school girls, graduating high school seniors and Saint Mary’s College students. 
    Cara Wolfe was the featured speaker. A graduating senior at UC Berkeley, she is studying computer science and Asian American studies. Wolfe participated in all OML branch STEM programs, and when she graduated from Acalanes High School in 2017, she received a college scholarship from the branch for her community service. While sharing her experiences participating in the branch’s Tech Trek and STEM Conferences, Wolfe highlighted the importance of young women working equitably and comfortably in the STEM field.
    The selection criteria for the high school and college scholarships is academic excellence, community service and leadership. All recipients are excellent students and have demonstrated a desire to help others for the good of their communities. Six local graduating high school seniors and three Saint Mary’s College students received community service scholarships, including Chaya Tong from Miramonte. 
    Tong participated in leadership programs such as the Lafayette Youth Commission and Miramonte’s Mock Trial and Peer Tutor programs. She organized the new South Asian Culture Club and Writer’s Mag. She represented Miramonte on the Acalanes Governing School board, where she was proud to encourage the board to vote to change the district’s transfer process and reopen its boarders. Tong will attend Emory University as an English major. 
    Additionally, three Saint Mary’s College students from the High Potential Program received community engagement scholarships and nine others received scholarships to AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. This virtual conference offers two days of leadership training, inspiration and networking, empowering students to gain the skills and confidence to pursue their goals.
    A total of 18 Lamorinda eighth grade girls will attend virtual Tech Trek camp this summer. In normal times, Tech Trek is a week-long STEM immersion program held at Stanford Camp Curry, but last year’s camp was canceled because of COVID-19.
    This year, although the girls will not be on campus, they will have a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on activities in the morning and afternoon STEM workshops, hear from inspirational women working in STEM and interact with each other in breakout rooms. They will learn the video software Flipgrid and will share their creations on Friday. There will be optional evening sessions as well. The opportunity to participate in this year’s program was offered to last year’s awardees, and they accepted. Orinda Intermediate School girls (2020/2021) attending virtual Tech Trek camp this summer include Deya Murthy, Emma Wong, Sophia Bitton, Claire Casado, Christophe Davis and Kodie Zundel.

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