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Justin Hogenauer (center) with his Track & Field teammates after he received the SCE check.


SURPRISE: Fu-Tung ‘Irisa’ Chang and Peter Chea, from Cerritos High School with scholarship checks given to them during their Model United Nations class. 


By Tammye McDuff

Spring is the time of year when high school seniors begin to receive those letters of acceptance or rejections. Along with those letters are hefty enrollment fees and budget planning on the part of the entire family. Scholarships go a long way to easing some of the financial burden.

Southern California Edison recognizes students who want to be ‘makers of tomorrow’ … dreamers, inventors, guardians and pioneers.

Each year, Edison International, awards 30 scholarships of $40,000 to high school seniors who want to make a difference in the world by studying science, technology, engineering or math [STEM] in college.

From helping to prevent the rise of ocean levels to increasing access to solar power in underserved communities, real issues need bright ideas to create change. This is a chance for students to stand up, advance their education, and be part of the solution.

ABC School District has three such scholars this year, two seniors from Cerritos High School and one from Whitney High School.

This past week, Lindsey Sayers, Southern California Edison engineering manager, surprised Fu-Tung ‘Irisa’ Chang and Peter Chea, from Cerritos High School with scholarship checks during their Model United Nations class and Justin Hogenauer was taken by surprise by a visit from SoCal Edison’s Kevin Payne, CEO of Southern California Edison during a Track & Field team meeting.

Payne noted that giving Hogenauer this scholarship was particularly special “Justin is exceptional because of his passion for sustainable energy. Because of the focus on our company and the fact that we are moving forward in this field we want to support him in his college career and hopefully he will support us after graduation.”

Chang wishes to develop better materials used in electronics that would prolong its use, increase safety and efficiency, and reduce the amount of times people change their electronics.

At a soccer match, Chea received a debilitating knee injury. During his recuperation, he grew sympathetic for people with permanent disabilities. He wants to create products that would assist those with physical challenges with their everyday tasks, making their lives easier and more fulfilled.

“I really didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Hogenauer,” I have seen the award presented in the past and always thought it would the coolest thing to win.” He went on to say that the money will be impactful on his college career, so that he can continue to follow his passion.  Hogenauer has applied to Stanford and has already received a letter of acceptance from UC Davis,”One of the things that I wanted to pursue further is the gardens here at Whitney. We use solar panels for power, and I would like to develop this further and then bring my ideas back to the city and the school in the future. The community has really been helpful and I want to return that investment.”

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