Eight students from Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) have been awarded $500 scholarships for their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The scholarships are part of the Beca Angelita program, spearheaded by Western Municipal Water District Division 2 Director Gracie Torres. This year, the program expanded its reach to include students from Raincross High School - Educational Options Center (EOC) and the California School for the Deaf, Riverside (CSDR).
The Beca Angelita program, named in honor of Torres' grandmother, has also partnered with Tenacity 8, a local non-profit organization focused on career growth and women's empowerment. "Students are empowered and encouraged to pursue their goals when someone from the community invests in their future," said RUSD Trustee Dr. Noemi Hernandez Alexander.
The scholarship recipients were nominated by their respective high school counselors and were awarded in early September. The students plan to use the funds to attend various institutions, including the University of California, Riverside, and California State University, San Bernardino, among others. Their fields of study range from Emergency Medical Services to Computer Engineering.
Torres, who holds a degree in Chemistry, emphasized the importance of early investment in education. "I expanded the scholarship to the EOC and CSDR because they were schools I walked past every day on my way to Matthew Gage Middle School and wanted to make sure their students were included," she said.
- Ahmed Alaqabi, North High School, plans to attend California State University, San Bernardino
- Manuela Andres, Poly High School, plans to attend the University of California, Davis
- Natasha Barraza-Beltran, California School for the Deaf, Riverside, plans to attend the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, NY
- Aidan-Bryce Hudson, King High School, plans to attend the University of California, Riverside
- Daniel Lopez, Arlington High School, plans to attend the University of California, Riverside
- Angel Uriostegui, STEM Academy, plans to attend California State University, San Bernardino
- Alisa Urtez, Lincoln High School, plans to attend Riverside Community College
- Alexis Wall, Raincross High School-Educational Options Center, plans to attend the University of Arizona