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Published June 19th, 2024
AAUW - Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette Branch presents scholarships to local students
Olivia Sanders, Priya Holl, Athena Simbajon, Madelyn Asalde, Sadie Ginestro, Quinn Sousa, Merritt Thompson

The American Association of University Women-OML branch honored local middle school, high school, and college students at their April meeting. Students, parents, and friends joined branch members to celebrate the students' accomplishments. Three local high school seniors and members of the Saint Mary's College High Potential Program received scholarships based on community engagement, leadership, and grades.
The following students received scholarships: Acalanes High School, Zoya Acuna; Campolindo High School, Bella Stratford; Miramonte High School, Nicole Hui; Saint Mary's College, Ayanna Wade and Evony Jackson.
Zoya was one of the founders of the UMBRELLA (Understanding Mentoring Belonging and Racial Equity through Listening, learning and Advocacy Committee.) The committee created lessons on allyship, microaggressions, identity and more, and presented these programs to local elementary and middle school students. Bella created the Native American Cultural Club at Campolindo to make students aware of her heritage and welcome them to participate in cultural activities and diversity events. These events initiated the creation of a land acknowledgment plaque for the school. Nicole created "I'mMOBILITY" to collect gently used/new medical equipment and supplies and delivered them free to those in need. Evony helped plan the Saint Mary's Weekend of Welcome, which aimed to create a safe, comfortable, and fun environment for incoming freshman and their families. Ayanna interned at the San Mateo County Health Department office of Diversity and Equity to better engage marginalized communities in matters of mental health. Her outreach tripled the attendance at a suicide prevention program
Seven seventh grade middle school girls received scholarships to Tech Trek, a weeklong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) immersion program that will be held this coming July at Santa Clara University. The camp is designed to encourage rising eighth grade girls to persist with their excitement about STEM through high school, college, and into their careers. The program features numerous hands-on activities, as well as a chance for the girls to make friends with other girls interested in STEM and to meet professional women in STEM fields. Girls were nominated by their teachers and completed an application and an interview process by AAUW-OML members.
The following students will attend camp: Madely Azalde and Merritt Thompson from Orinda Intermediate School, Olivia Sanders, Priya Holl and Quinn Sousa from Stanley Middle School, and Sadie Ginestro and Athena Simbajon from Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School.

Zoya Acuna, Natalie Hui, Bella Stratford and Ayanna Wade (Evony Jackson not included in the photo) Photos provided

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