Twelve scholarships totaling $7,500 were awarded by the Natomas Schools Foundation this month to help local students attend college or trade school next year.

Recipients of $1,000 or $500 scholarships were Sarah Allen, Nomin Oyunbileg, Matthew Paterno, Rachelle Relador, Erica Wei, Joshua Hoong, Aliza Siddiqui, Ela Manaois, William Roberts, Jzov Stith-Gambles, Mikaela Carrillo and Andrew Karperos.

The NSF requires scholarship applicants to live – or have lived – within NUSD boundaries. They also must attend – or have attended – high school within the District. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 higher. They also must have served 50 hours, within the past two years, of formal employment or volunteer service. The latter could include community assistance or participation in a school club or organization.

The Natomas Schools Foundation is a nonprofit group dedicated to raising funds to benefit students in schools within NUSD boundaries. Its activities are funded through support from business sponsors, individual donors – including NUSD employees – and the entire community through various events. This year’s scholarships also benefited from a special grant by Guild Mortgage.

The following are brief descriptions of this year’s $1,000 NSF scholarship winners:

Sarah Allen – With her selfless volunteer work, excellent writing skills and leadership qualities, Sarah is someone who will continue to make a difference in our world.  Each year she has traveled to Mexico and Haiti to help build homes, work with children in an orphanage, and bring  food, clothing and meals to people living in a dump site.  She is described as relentlessly positive, caring and compassionate, qualities which she attributes to two young Haitian women she has become friends with from her volunteer work there. Her academic work is outstanding and she has been a member of her high school swim team.  Finally, she is an artist who has used her creativity to raise awareness of poverty as well as raise money for her favorite charities.  

Nomin Oyunbileg – Shehas been a strong student and active member of her high school campus through National Honor Society, Key Club, volleyball and basketball.  Nomin has balanced all this while holding a job as a bridal assistant at the House of Fashion Bridal Salon. She also has been active in the community through Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby’s Parks Leadership Academy for Youth and has volunteered at St. John’s Program for Real Change.  Nomin moved to Natomas from Mongolia in 7th grade and began her high school career in the English Language Learner program. Each year the challenge of her courseload has increased as well as her grades. She recently earned A’s in Mandarin Chinese, Physics, Music Appreciation and college prep English at the same time.  Known for her hard work, determination and concern for others, Nomin will continue to make Natomas proud!  

Matthew Paterno – He has balanced strong academics with community service through Key Club, leadership in the National Honor Society, competitive soccer, and by playing in a band.  As Vice-President and then President of the National Honor Society, Matthew helped start and manage a campus-wide recycling program. He helped grow the club 200%, to more than 100 members.  Additionally, he has produced multiple videos and films, taking on social concerns such as suicide and the drought. Matthew is a budding scientist who worked as an Engineering Assistant on public works projects for the Hannah Group, and as an intern at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures.  He earned 2nd place in the UC Davis Teen Biotech Challenge Award, creating websites showcasing the impact of nanotechnology and protein therapy on society.

 The Natomas Schools Foundation congratulates all 12 of its scholarship winners and wishes them well in college or trade school next year.

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