SANTA MONICA (CNS) – Twelve college-bound high school seniors from Los Angeles County have been chosen as 2022 Milken Scholars, winning $10,000 scholarships plus a lifetime of career and educational mentoring and resources, it was announced Wednesday.
The program, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, was founded in 1989 by Michael Milken, the former financier, and his wife Lori “to honor exceptional young individuals who have demonstrated the potential to make a profound difference in the world.”
The program awards the scholarships “after a rigorous nomination, application and interview process.”
To date, more than 540 Milken Scholars have been selected from over 200 high schools in L.A. County, New York City and Washington, D.C.
The Milken Institute is a Santa Monica-based nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank “focused on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life,” according to its website.
Criteria for the awards include academic performance, community service, leadership and “their ability to persevere in the face of personal challenges.”
Past winners include Amanda Gorman, the former Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate and the poet at President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration.
“Lori and I continue to be impressed, year after year, by the remarkable accomplishments and enthusiasm of all the Milken Scholars,” Michael Milken said in a statement. “These amazing young men and women represent the very best of America.”
Besides the $10,000 scholarships, winners get lifelong career-related counseling, assistance in securing internships, opportunities for community service and a fund to assist their post-graduate pursuits.
Later this month, the L.A. winners will attend a four-day summit in Los Angeles with other winners from Washington, D.C., and New York City.
The 2022 L.A. County winners, in alphabetical order and with biographical facts provided by the Milken Scholars program, are:
— Favour Akingbemi, George Washington High School. She plans to study political science at Yale and then practice law, advocating for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse;
— Enzo Banal, North Hollywood High School. He will study political science and journalism at Northwestern University and is considering a career in politics;
— Patricia Rose De Leon, Downtown Magnets High School. She will study biology at UCLA as a Regents Scholar and plans a career as a surgeon;
— Dulce Gonzalez, Canoga Park High School. She will study political science at Harvard and plans a career as an immigration lawyer;
— Dong gun (Kevin) Kwak, Harvard-Westlake School. He plans to study computer science at MIT and pursue a career in software development;
— Jessica Luna, Larchmont Charter School. She will study computer science and computer engineering as a Presidential Scholar at the University of Southern California and plans a career in cybersecurity;
— David Maemoto, Palos Verdes High School. He will study mechanical engineering at Stanford and plans a career in aerospace and mechanical engineering;
— Camilla Martinez, North Hollywood High School. She plans to study biophysics at Harvard and pursue a career in scientific research;
— Alejandro Quiroz, Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School. He will study government and public policy at Claremont McKenna College as a Kravis Scholar and plans a career in public policy;
— Katy Shin, Golden Valley High School. She will study psychology at Stanford University and plans a career in psychiatry;
— Jaden Stewart, North Hollywood High School. He will study political science at Princeton and plans a career in law and government; and
— Isamar Zhu, Mira Costa High School. She will study computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and plans a career in software engineering.