Lynwood – Two extraordinary Lynwood High seniors have won $40,000 Edison International STEM scholarships to pursue their passions for engineering and molecular biology at Stanford University.
LHS classmates Abieiden Lopez and Lesly Leon are two of 30 students to earn the honor from Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison. The program annually awards $1.2 million in scholarships to 30 high school seniors pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields at four-year universities. Each $40,000 scholarship will be paid over four years.
Lopez and Leon each received the news during surprise Skype announcements on March 26.
“It’s such a great honor and accomplishment for me to earn the award,” Leon said. “It’s always been a goal of mine to prove that there is a lot of talent in underrepresented communities, and for me this is the beginning of that process.”
Leon begins each weekday at 5:30 a.m. helping her father plan logistics for his trucking company. By the time she finishes Advanced Placement (AP) classes at LHS, it’s time for her to head to swim practice, which is followed by a night of studying and homework.
Leon and Lopez were selected from more than 2,000 applicants to the Edison Scholars program.
“To earn an Edison Scholarship is such a special honor for a student and their family,” Lynwood Unified Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Congratulations to both Lesly and Abieiden, who have achieved this through their drive to succeed.”
Lopez has a passion for engineering and advocacy and will major in electrical engineering and minor in political science.
“I want to receive the best education possible so that I can work on the big issues the world faces today and come back to Lynwood as a role model to others and a positive force for change within our community,” Lopez said.
Taking college courses every semester at LHS, Lopez has already received enough credits to receive an AMETLL Certificate of Engineering Design, through a partnership with District partner Cerritos College. She balances four to five AP classes per semester with a full schedule of extracurricular activities. Lopez is the founder of the Lynwood High Community Service Club, which is now affiliated with the Kiwanis Club, and is vice president of LHS National Honor Society chapter. A proponent of developing sustainable energy technologies to combat climate change, Lopez was director of the District’s second annual Girls STEM Conference last year.
Leon will pursue molecular biology and plans to become an oncologist. Last summer, she developed a cancer research proposal to get a better understanding of current treatment options. She also volunteers at St. Francis Medical Center.
“Lesly and Abieiden have shown a commitment to being standouts inside the classroom and out,” Lynwood Unified Board President Alfonso Morales said. “We are so proud of all that they have accomplished and look forward to watching their success in the next stages of their lives.”
041618_LUSD_EDISONSCHOLAR: Lynwood High School seniors Abieiden Lopez, left, and Lesly Leon are among 30 high school students to receive $40,000 STEM college scholarships from Edison International.