The Natomas Schools Foundation had 18 computers to award to committed students who need them to thrive in school – and these were among the applicants:
- Brenda takes a college course and Advanced Placement high school classes, yet she finds time to play soccer, participate in a Ballet Folklorico dance group, and serves as president of the her school’s Sabor Latino and Think Globally clubs. She dreams of becoming an immigration lawyer someday.
- Melissa has a 4.0 grade point average, takes both high school and college courses, serves as a cheerleader, is active as a Girl Scout mentoring children, has volunteered at Stanford Settlement and Kaiser, and has completed paid internships for PG&E and the Boys and Girls Club.
- Shavneet immigrated from Fiji last year and has helped other immigrants and Hindi speakers adjust to school. He holds a job at Round Table Pizza, participates in Fijian dance, plays soccer when he has time, and wants to become an opthamologist He sought a computer to improve his grade and to help his little brother succeed in school, too.
- Erykah has a 3.5 gpa and participates in Peer Tutoring, Christians in Action, and the Robotics Club. She also is historian for her school’s California Early College Academy program. She wants to become a Biomedical Engineer to save lives and change the world.
All four – Brenda, Melissa, Shavneet and Erykah – were among six high school students awarded Chromebooks March 25 in the Natomas Schools Foundation’s Next Gen Scholarship program. Twelve other teens won refurbished desktop computers. The nonprofit foundation raises money to supplement art, athletic and academic programs for students living within Natomas Unified boundaries.
Anna Vue, current leader of the Natomas Schools Foundation, surprised many of the students at their schools with the good news. The 18 winners attend five local schools: Inderkum, Natomas High, Leroy Greene Academy, Westlake Charter and NP3.
Applicants for Next Gen scholarships are judged on academic performance and potential, leadership potential, service to others, and on their need of a computer to improve or maintain their academic performance.
All Natomas youth were eligible to apply, including foster and homeless students. Winners had to have a minimum 2.0 grade point average. They also must live within NUSD boundaries and attend – or plan to attend – a high school within the district.
The foundation’s goal is to help close the digital divide and assist honorees in achieving their academic and career objectives.
Dozens of computers have been given away by NSF in recent years. Many were used laptop and desktop models obtained at no cost from a coalition of the California Department of Technology, California Prison Industry Authority and Merit ePartners. NSF and Natomas Unified have refurbished the computers and awarded them as scholarship prizes.