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Four Latino Angelenos win scholarships for math, science

In an effort to bring more Latino youth into science and technology, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health today announced 10 students (four of them Angelenos) won a $42,500 scholarship for college tuition and internship support.

Over the next five years, the Alliance/Merck Ciencia Hispanic Scholars Program will award a total of 50 students who plan to major in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. In addition, 125 students will receive one-time $2,000 scholarship.

“The new century of discovery and innovation is really going to be dependent on whether we make investments today in Hispanic youth,” said Adolph Falcon, alliance senior vice president.

The program, which targets students of Hispanic descent in Los Angeles, Brownsville, TX and Elizabeth, NJ, is funded through a $4-million grant from the Merck Company Foundation, the pharmaceutical giant’s philanthropic initiative.

The scholarship will also connect scholars with two mentors – one on-campus, and another whose interests and field match each student’s.

According to Falcon, mentoring helps ensure that Latino students who express an interest in science or math related fields don't get derailed during their four years at college.

Alejandro Aguirre, a Boyle Heights native who started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, said he “jumped up and down” when he found out he had won the scholarship. Aguirre, who turns 18 tomorrow, served as president of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program at Roosevelt High, where helped build a solar-powered boat that took second place in the rookie division of the Metropolitan Water District's 2008 Solar Cup.

The Alliance today also opened up the application process for next year’s round of scholars, with an application deadline of February 15, 2010. Interested students can apply at www.alliancescholars.org or call 1-866-783-2645.

--Amina Khan

Comments () | Archives (11)

Wow, how great is that. I love it. Different backgrounds equate to different circumstances, which equates to slightly different thinking patterns.

It's great to see diversity in the sciences. :)

So because I'm an student of Anglo-Saxon heritage I cannot apply for the scholarship? How is that acceptable? How is that not deemed racially biased?....predjudiced? You segregate yourselves from society with nonsense like this.

What kind of reporting is this? You don't even tell us who the winners are!

The names of the 4 winners from Los Angeles are: Alejandro Aguirre, Roxana Garcia, Edson Mancilla, and Lorena Ramos. Congratulations to all of you and best wishes!

So much effort to bring these people into the fold...why not just provide the smarter students with the funds...silk purse, sows ear...

Jealous much are we? - To Reality, in reality, there are scholarships you can apply to that is limited to your heritage (including Anglo-Saxon), family connections, if you're a son or daughter or a specific labor union, profession, etc. As for BigPicture, there are some studies that rank "legacy" students (students whose either parents are grads of the school being applied to) in Ivy League schools have a lower GPA and test scores than non-legacy black students in the same schools.

WOW! Four Scholarships out of 756,000 LAUSD students over half are hispanic!. This is really progress!!!

There are Scholarships limited to people of Anglo-Saxon background.
1. For descendants of Confederate Soldiers
2. Irish Scholarships (Irish american scholarship fund)
3. Polish American
4. Italian American
just to name a few.

They should get rid of all race based scholarships along with legacy. Base it on the merit of the students who have worked hard to achieve the American dream. Just a thought.

They should get rid of all race based scholarships along with legacy. Base it on the merit of the students who have worked hard to achieve the American dream. Just a thought.

@ those taking offense to this great opportunity, your points are well taken, but its important not to forget, without biased giving, it would be impossible for non white students to get access, that same access white students were born with.

I don't think its fair either, but until everyone of every race stands up, and encourages the system to operate fairly across the board, some will be elevated at the expense of others.

Its just the way it is.

For high school juniors who are passionate about science, mathematics or engineering, I'd like to recommend an outstanding program for the summer before your senior year of high school, The Summer Science Program (SSP) held in Santa Barbara, CA and in Socorro, New Mexico. For full details please visit SummerScience.org.

It's an intensive 6-week summer program in college-level math, science and computer science that you apply for between December and March of your junior year of high school. If accepted, full or partial scholarships are available for those who need them regardless of ethnicity. This program is well known by admissions staff of major universities, so if you attend it you'll be pursued by some of the top universities in America.

Of 72 students who attended SSP in 2006, 10 went to Caltech in 2007, 14 to M.I.T., 6 to Stanford, 5 to Harvard, 5 to UC Berkeley, 3 to Yale, 2 to Cornell, and 1 each to Columbia, Duke, Rice, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Harvey Mudd, Cooper Union and USC.


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