Paramount, CA – Paramount High School senior Arlene Aleman has always triumphed over life’s hurdles, using each challenge as a driving force toward reaching her goals.
When Arlene was in the fifth grade her father died suddenly from liver cancer. It was in that life- changing tragedy that Arlene decided she would press on through any obstacle in order to pursue her dreams. Her hard work and perseverance inside the classroom and out recently paid off in a big way as she was named one of just 30 students to receive a $40,000 Edison International Scholarship.
“When my father passed away I knew that I could give up and blame things on the fact that I lost a parent, but it pushed me to do the opposite,” Arlene said. “I didn’t want to let any excuse hold me back.”
Arlene’s latest accomplishment has been inspiring to Paramount High School where she is the first student to garner the Edison Scholarship. The Edison Scholarship is open to exceptional Southern California students who display financial need and plan to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) degrees at an accredited four-year college or university.
Arlene, who maintains a 4.5 GPA, plans to study physics at Stanford this fall. She has a particular interest in researching theoretical particle physics and wants to add to the world’s understanding of the topic while empowering other Latina women.
“Arlene is an ambitious student who wants to use her talents to help those around her,” said Ariana Bates, Paramount High School Counselor. “Arlene demonstrates superb leadership skills at PHS and she is respected by her peers and teachers.”
Outside of the classroom, Arlene is a four-year member of the PHS swim team and has a passion for contemporary jazz and hip hop dance. She is looking forward to meeting fellow scholars at Stanford and taking the lessons of community she has learned from Paramount Unified.
“I’ve been in the District since kindergarten and have had so many wonderful teachers and people that have pushed me to reach my full potential,” Arlene said. “When you have so many people in your life that support you and believe you can do something it makes you believe it yourself.”
Arlene has given all Paramount students reason to believe in their own goals.
“Arlene is such a shining example of overcoming obstacles for all of our students,” Paramount Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “Her success is a proud moment for our entire District, reminding us that there is nothing we cannot achieve when we band together in support of our children.”
051017_PARAMOUNT_EDISONSCHOLAR: Paramount High School senior Arlene Aleman will head to Stanford this fall with a $40,000 Edison International Scholarship, earned through her exceptional academic performance and interest in physics.