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Pasadena Student Awarded $20,000 Scholarship Through the Pasadena Community Foundation

Marshall Fundamental High School senior Tram Hoang-Le with school Principal Lori Touloumian. [PCF photo]

Published on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 12:13 pm

Tram Hoang-Le, a senior at Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena, has been awarded the inaugural Taylor & Don Hall Scholarship, a $20,000 grant distributed over four years by the Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF).

Tram, who maintains a 4.35 GPA and aspires to earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology, plans to attend California State University, Long Beach, to study biochemistry.

The scholarship, established by long-term Pasadena Community Foundation supporters Taylor and Don Hall, aims to support high-achieving local high school students with a strong interest in Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (iSTEM).

“We wanted to further a student’s education in the field of iSTEM, which encompasses the expertise needed to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease and climate change,” said Don Hall, who serves on Pasadena Community Foundation’s Investment Committee.

Tram, who will be the first in her family to attend university in the United States, stood out to the selection committee for her exceptional academic record, evident iSTEM aptitude, and commendable qualities of leadership, resilience, and commitment. She has already gained valuable experience in the field through her participation in the Huntington Medical Research Institute’s STEM internship program for high school students.

During the internship, Tram conducted research on the neurological and physical effects of acetaminophen overdose on the human body.

“With a week to prepare, I read medical documents and watched documentaries. I then presented my findings to doctors and the families of program interns,” she said.

Tram’s passion for science and problem-solving began at a young age.

“Throughout my childhood, I played outside a lot pretending that I was a scientist, finding leaves and acorns to create ‘medicine,'” she recalled. “I also grew up with a big love for mystery novels, and in a way, I tied my interests in science and mystery together by viewing science as an adventure and a puzzle for me to solve.”

The Pasadena Community Foundation, founded in 1953, manages more than $161 million in charitable assets and works with individuals, families, and organizations to establish philanthropic funds, create and build endowment funds, and distribute charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations.

In 2023, the Pasadena Community Foundation awarded $2.8 million in grant funding to more than 100 Pasadena-area nonprofits, and its scholarship funds supported more than 150 students.

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