SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita High School senior Jeremiah Weetly came to his AP Computer Science class on March 27 and took a seat at his desk, with no idea that his life would change dramatically by the time the dismissal bell rang. Halfway through class, principal Kenny Ritchie stopped by with Jeremiah’s mother, Andrea Weetly, and two representatives from Southern California Edison to make a special announcement.
In front of his classmates and mom, Weetly learned he had been named a 2023 Edison STEM Scholarship winner and was presented with a check for $50,000 from Edison International. The scholarship will help Weetly attend his dream college and study electrical and computer engineering. Weetly is one of just 30 students across Southern California to win the scholarship this year, as well as the first student at Bonita High to ever be named an Edison Scholar.
“This is an amazing moment for my family and I. I’m still trying to process it,” Weetly said. “This changes everything. I’m so happy right now. I want to thank everyone who has supported me – my mom and dad and brother, my auto shop teacher Mr. Zamboni, my computer science teacher Dr. McGarvey, my calculus teacher Mr. Wes, my counselor Mrs. McGarvey, Mr. Ritchie, and Southern California Edison. This is a dream come true.”
Weetly’s college dream began early in childhood, when he discovered a love for working with his hands and building things. Weetly would volunteer to help his father out around the house, taking things apart and putting them back together. Weetly’s interest in car mechanics led him to take auto shop at Bonita, where his creativity and aptitude for problem-solving put him on a path towards a career in engineering.
Weetly aspires to improve the fuel efficiency of cars by leveraging computer coding to increase the vehicle timing. His goal is to create vehicle parts that will help cars perform at peak efficiency.
“There are new inventions for computers every day. They’re an untapped resource of which we’ve only scratched the surface,” Weetly said in a video essay submitted as part of the application process. “I not only want to learn everything there is about creating computers, but I also want to be a part of the community that helps take computer and mechanical engineering to the next level.”
Weetly has a 4.05 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. As a sophomore, Weetly was chosen to serve as a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program delegate. Over the summer of 2022, Weetly honed his auto engineering skills at Universal Technical Institute’s Summer Ignite program, learning how vehicles are designed and manufactured as well as fundamental diagnostic and repair skills.
Weetly plays club soccer and has spent two years on Bonita High’s varsity boys’ soccer team; he is also a member of the Bonita track team, running the 200- and 400-meter races, as well as the 4×400 relays.
“Jeremiah is an outstanding student, a natural leader, and an inquisitive learner,” Bonita High Counselor Kelly McGarvey said. “He has determination, communication skills and a sense of humor. Jeremiah is the type of student you wish you could clone as he embodies so many positive qualities. This is a student who is highly regarded on campus by both his peers and the faculty because of his good character and integrity.”
Edison International has awarded more than $13.5 million in scholarships to 730 students through the program since 2006. In addition to the scholarship money, Edison Scholars are eligible for a paid summer internship at SCE after completing their first year of school.
“Congratulations to Jeremiah for being named Bonita High’s first Edison Scholar,” Ritchie said. “His drive, curiosity and enthusiasm for learning will only be enhanced by the scholarship, and we can’t wait to see where his education will lead him. Jeremiah is an amazing scholar athlete and a role model who completely personifies the Bearcat spirit.”
BUSD_EDISON1: Bonita High School senior Jeremiah Weetly is all smiles after learning that he has been named a 2023 Edison STEM Scholarship winner. The scholarship, which is worth $50,000, will help Weetly attend his dream college and study electrical and computer engineering. Edison’s surprise announcement came during Weetly’s computer science class, in front of his classmates and mother, Andrea Weetly (left).
BUSD_EDISON2: Bonita High School senior Jeremiah Weetly (right) celebrates being named a 2023 Edison STEM Scholarship winner with his brother Justus and mother Andrea. The $50,000 scholarship, awarded to only 30 students each year, will allow Weetly to pursue a career as an electrical engineer in the automotive industry.