Lynwood – A Lynwood High School senior who discovered a passion for engineering through Project Lead The Way (PLTW) – completing 20 Cerritos College engineering courses while enrolled at LHS – has been awarded a Posse Foundation scholarship that will cover his tuition as he pursues a dual degree in physics at Middlebury College and mechanical engineering at Columbia University.
Sergio Bobadilla received the coveted Posse scholarship for his leadership skills, work ethic and mastery of computer aided design (CAD). Those same skills enabled him to intern at Southern California manufacturers Cemco Expanded Metal and Advanex Americas, where he assisted engineers in redesigning programs to create and inspect tools.
“Lynwood Unified is fully invested in providing all students with opportunities to reach their full potential when following their academic and career ambitions,” LUSD Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “Sergio has shown tremendous enthusiasm and maturity, and has set a high bar for success for our PLTW program.”
Bobadilla was accepted into Middlebury’s “3-2” dual degree program. He will spend three years completing a B.A. in physics before transferring to Columbia University for two years to pursue a B.S. in mechanical engineering.
“From the moment Sergio enrolled in the introductory PLTW engineering course, he has taken full advantage of all educational resources available to him,” Lynwood High engineering teacher Christian Munguia said. “Sergio has an incredible aptitude for mechanical design, engineering prototyping, new product development and computer science. More importantly, he is a natural leader and embodies all the admirable qualities the Posse Foundation looks for in their scholars.”
The Posse Foundation is a national nonprofit that recruits promising students from diverse backgrounds to prepare them for higher education and careers in lucrative professions, supporting these students with specialized initiatives that ensure they achieve at a high level and complete their schooling.
Upon entering high school, Bobadilla had no clear concept of his career path and enrolled in the engineering design class on the advice of a friend. Bobadilla listened intently as Munguia detailed the advantages of pursuing an engineering degree. Soon, Munguia had convinced Bobadilla to take the initiative to complete some PLTW courses at Cerritos College.
“I feel lucky to have been introduced to a career path that has been so interesting to me,” Bobadilla said. “Mr. Munguia has been such a tremendous supporter, guiding me to Cerritos College, securing summer internships and nominating me for the Posse Foundation, which has prepared me for the rigors of higher education and given me the confidence to pursue my dreams.”
To qualify for a Posse scholarship, Bobadilla needed to complete three interviews and, after being named a finalist for the Middlebury program, convened with other competitors for a three-hour group interview with university representatives, who evaluated his qualifications and issued their decision the same day.
Of the Posse Foundation’s 2,700 Los Angeles chapter students, only 100 received scholarships. Bobadilla was one of 10 students to receive a scholarship to Middlebury College.
Project Lead The Way is the nation’s foremost provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
“I am so proud of what Sergio Bobadilla has managed to accomplish in such a short period of time at Lynwood Unified, thanks to the guidance of hard-working teachers such as Christian Munguia,” LUSD Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “It is exciting to see students like Sergio succeed in these career pathways, and I hope our other students know about all the opportunities they can be a part of on our campuses.”
053117_LUSD_POSSE: Lynwood High senior Sergio Bobadilla (center) poses with his Chevron Design Challenge teammates in April. Bobadilla completed 20 engineering courses at Cerritos College and has been awarded a Posse Foundation scholarship that will cover his tuition for a dual degree program to study physics at Middlebury College and mechanical engineering at Columbia University.