2016 Scholarship Recipient
Heydy Arias, Montebello High School
Ms. Heydy Arias, a senior at Montebello High School, Montebello, California, is the inaugural recipient of the 2016 Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Scholarship. Unanimously selected by the STEM steering committee, she will be the first person in her family to attend university.
Ms. Arias faced significant academic challenges in her early educational career. A first-generation American, Ms. Arias worked diligently to learn English, and for a time was the only member of her immediate family to do so. Her subsequent fluency in Spanish and English enabled her parents and younger brother to overcome the cultural and linguistic barriers she once faced. She currently has a 4.0 GPA and is ranked fourth out of the 624 students in her class.
While at Montebello High School, Ms. Arias served as a tutor for her fellow students, and was involved in several school-based activities such as AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college readiness program for any student motivated to attend a four-year university), the Spanish Club, and the Chicano Club. She is also a dedicated tennis player, and both organizes and volunteers for a number of community-based events such as 5K runs and city cleanup efforts.
Ms. Arias is currently attending the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and with the help of the STEM Endowment scholarship, she plans to study mathematics and education with the ultimate goal of becoming a high school math teacher. Ms. Arias has overcome significant obstacles in her young life, and The Aerospace Corporation is honored to be instrumental in her pursuit of success and the achievement of her dreams.