BALDWIN PARK – Ten Baldwin Park Unified Class of 2020 seniors gave shouts of joy and even shed a few tears as a District caravan of well-wishers, equipped with balloons and flowers, traveled through the city on May 15 to personally deliver the news that the students had received scholarships totaling $11,000.
District leaders – including Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza, Board of Education and Cabinet members, administrators and community leaders – wore masks and practiced social distancing as they surprised students at their homes, placing the decorations and a certificate on the lawns and porches of recipients.
“The Class of 2020 has worked so hard and we’ve watched them all grow into scholars and leaders. We wanted to do something special to let them and their families know we are proud of everything they have accomplished,” Dr. Mendoza said. “We wish them all the best, and we will never forget what they brought to BPUSD.”
Seniors were evaluated on GPAs, achievements in music and the arts, community service, financial need, and personal essays about educators who influenced their goals.
Scholarships included a $5,000 prize from the Ramona Burnham Foundation, named in honor of long-time BPUSD educator Ramona Burnham; four $750 scholarships from the Baldwin Park Organization of Supervisors and Administrators (BPOSA); three $500 scholarships from the Baldwin Park Education Association (BPEA) and two $750 Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG) scholarships.
Ramona Burnham Foundation
Kendra Nguyen, Baldwin Park High School. A member of Baldwin Park’s Robotics, Scholar and Space club, Nguyen’s goal is to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and win a Nobel Prize in Physics.
Maricruz Becerra, Sierra Vista High School. An AVID Scholar award winner, Becerra wants to pursue a career in aerospace engineering, become an astronaut and travel in space.
Zaia Rodriguez, Baldwin Park High School. Rodriguez volunteers in several community outreach organizations and aspires to be a bilingual nurse anesthetist to support quality healthcare.
Ezdra Esparza, North Park Continuation High School. Esparza served as a Student Board member during the 2019-2020 school year and aspires to work in immigration or criminal law or as a high school counselor.
Alejandra Morales, BPACE. Morales has a passion to make a difference in the learning environment for children and wants to be a preschool teacher.
Daisy Sarmiento, Sierra Vista High School. A wrestler and cross-country runner, Sarmiento was recognized as “Most Inspirational” by her classmates and is hoping to pursue a career in dentistry.
Cassidy Garcia, Baldwin Park High School. Active in many clubs and as a volunteer with the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless, Garcia’s goal is to be a teacher.
Gabriel Rodriguez, North Park High Continuation High School. Rodriguez earned North Park’s Viking Scholar Award for outstanding academic achievement and hopes to enlist in the Marine Corp and work in law enforcement.
Karen Gonzalez, Sierra Vista High School. Gonzalez has worked extensively with the ROP’s Early Childhood Development program and hopes to become a teacher.
Hanna Cardenas, Baldwin Park High School. A volunteer with the American Cancer Society, Cardenas is looking forward to a career as a physical therapist and to teach kinesiology.
BPUSD_Scholars_Nguyen: Baldwin Park High School valedictorian Kendra Nguyen earned a $5,000 scholarship from the Ramona Burnham Foundation.
BPUSD_Scholars_Zaia Rodriguez: Baldwin Park High School salutatorian Zaia Rodriguez earned a $750 scholarship from the Baldwin Park Organization of Supervisors and Administrators BPOSA.
BPUSD_Scholars_Morales: Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education senior Alejandra Morales received a $750 scholarship from the Baldwin Park Organization of Supervisors and Administrators BPOSA.
BPUSD_Scholars_Garcia: Baldwin Park High School senior Cassidy Garcia received a $500 scholarship from the Baldwin Park Education Association (BPEA).
BPUSD_Scholars_Gonzalez: Sierra Vista High School senior Karen Gonzalez received a $750 Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG) scholarship.
BPUSD_Scholars_Cardenas: Baldwin Park High School senior Hannah Cardenas earned a $750 Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (DKG) scholarship.