AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing their students for college and other postsecondary opportunities, especially first-generation college students from underachieving and underfunded schools. AVID provides us with 7 to 9 student resumes from some of their outstanding students, and AFCEA selects upto two students to receive the scholarship awards each year.

2018 AVID Scholarship winners:

The 2 winners for 2018 are Ms. Trinity Calloway and Mr. Getsemani Zapien

  1. Trinity graduated from Escondido High School, is a Track star and a good volleyball player. She was named by 5 teachers as “student of the month” and was given “cougar awards of excellence” three times (for best student performance). She did all this and more while overcoming many personal health issues. She will attend UCLA in the fall and major in Biology.
  2. Getsemani has performed a variety of activities at San Ysidro High School and he plans to study Chemistry in college. He was the AVID president at his school in addition to being the ASB Commissioner. He played water polo, and participated in Kaiser Fellowship program and was a UCSD health volunteer. He will matriculate at UCSD this fall.

2018 Pat Kelly and Buck Bragunier Leadership Scholarship winners:

These 2 scholarships are named in honor of two of our truly great AFCEANS. Selected students must have strong academics and a record of leadership and volunteer service activities both in their school and in their community.

  1. The winner of Pat Kelly Impact Scholarship is Ms. Nikita Krishnan from the Bishop’s School. This award is given to a student who has also had the greatest impact in the community through volunteer work. Nikita will be attending UC Berkeley this fall as a Regents Scholar. Only about 200 Regents’ scholars are selected from a freshman applicant pool of over 89,000 students. Her non-profit organization, Creature Comfort and Care provides custom 3D printed prostheses to injured birds and animals, at no-cost.
  2. The winner of the Buck Bragunier Leadership Scholarship is Ms. Stassa Cappos. Stassa recently graduated from Mountain Valley Academy and will study Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and already has 2 Associate degrees from Palomar College. She is a state level champion in Mountain Bike Racing and has participated in numerous volunteer service activities in her community, such as at the Teen Action Council of the Ramona Library, National Charity League, Green Teen Garden Club, etc. etc.

2018 High School and College $8,000 Scholarship winners:

This is a $2,000 per year award for up to four years of undergraduate studies based on the student’s academics and superior extra-curricular activities. Students must be majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) curriculums at any four-year degree granting colleges in the U.S. We have 2 high school winners and 1 college winner:

  1. Mr. David Wang is a recent graduate of The Bishop’s School and will attend Columbia University this fall, majoring in Biochemistry. He is one of 10 Rabi scholars in Columbia recognized for his STEM potential. He is a published author in an International Mathematics journal, was Chemistry Olympiad finalist and a winner at both National Economics and National Mathematics competitions. He has also conducted research at the San Diego Supercomputer center and at UCSD Moores cancer center. He has spent many hours volunteering at the Lightbridge Hospice center where he worked with Alzheimer’s patients.
  2. Our second winner is Mr. Rithvik Rao from Canyon Crest academy, and plans to matriculate at Harvard this fall majoring in Computer Science. Besides having stellar academics, including perfect ACT score, he has performed a gamut of community service activities, including working as a teaching assistant for ESET Cyber Bootcamp. Rithvik has won a ton of awards from various organizations including one from the Future Problem Solving Club.
  3. Our third winner, Ms. Kaitlyn Fisher receives the College Scholarship. She will continue studying Civil Engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and will graduate in 2020. She has outstanding academic credentials, including being on the Dean’s List in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is an active participant in Engineers without Borders where she worked on projects in Nicaragua, and at One Cool Earth non-profit organization where she builds community gardens for public schools.

2018 STEM Internship/Research Grant winner:

The winner of the $1,400 STEM Research Grant is Ms. Isabella Catanzaro from Cathedral Catholic High School. Her project is on “Robotic Gardening”. She will design and build an automated garden robot to grow seedlings for raised planters in her school garden, and is modeled after the open- sourced robot called “Farmbot”. She was inspired to do this project after being involved in the robotics program at her school, and her participation at the Greater SD Science Fair, both these programs are supported by AFCEA.