Pasadena Student Wins Credit Union Scholarship

Published : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 | 6:51 PM

Samantha Christine James, college-bound from Marshall Fundamental School in Pasadena, was selected as one of 10 Los Angeles County students who will receive scholarships from California Credit Union.

James and the other nine students will get $1,000 each through the credit union’s Annual College Scholarship Program.

Through the program, California Credit Union recognizes exceptional students who are active in both their schools and the communities, giving back to others through service and volunteer work.

“We are honored to recognize these very deserving students – not just for their hard work in school, but also for their extraordinary work in supporting their local communities,” California Credit Union CEO Steve O’Connell said. “We have no doubt all of these students have a tremendous future, and we look forward to seeing the difference they will make in our world in the years ahead.”

The California Credit Union Annual College Scholarship program was created in 2005 to recognize outstanding students within its local communities. Since the creation of the program, the credit union has awarded more than $295,000 in scholarships.

This year, the program was expanded to award a total of 20 scholarships for $1,000 each in Los Angeles and San Diego counties. The program received over 700 applications, which were reviewed by a Scholarship Committee consisting of credit union staff.

The other nine Los Angeles County scholars are Stacy Aka, University High School, Los Angeles; Zheng Ni Dong, Ruben S. Ayala High School, Chino Hills; Anthony Ho, Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, Los Angeles; Julio Cesar Ornelas, El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera; Sangeetha Ramachandran, California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Carson; Danielle Rawles, Westchester High School, Los Angeles; Gerson Rivas, Harbor Teacher Preparatory Academy, Wilmington; Marco Antonio Vargas, Nava College Preparatory Academy, Compton; and Rowall Jonathan Vasquez, Canoga Park High School, Canoga Park.

James is also an athlete who was recognized as Marshall’s Girl Athlete of the Week in August last year after leading Marshall to a pair of volleyball season-opening sweeps over John Muir High School and then Blair High.

In 2016, James and another Marshall Fundamental student, Talia Kasten, were recognized as KABC’s Cool Kids for stepping in to help Sonya Wilson, their American Sign Language teacher, survive a severe allergic reaction.

Wilson, who is deaf and non-verbal, had severe allergic reaction to food. The two students stepped in and helped translate when their teacher had difficulty communicating with paramedics.

That year, James also started a petition to keep the American Sign Language (ASL) Program at PUSD schools, saying its removal could limit students’ exposure to a language other than Spanish, and would jeopardize students’ abilities to achieve college requirements of two to three years of the same language.

In the end, the PUSD Board of Education decided to keep the program.








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