A Westmont High School senior bound for UC Berkeley received a scholarship valued at $100,000 in a surprise presentation involving Campbell Union High School District (CUHSD), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and Westmont High School Thursday.
The honoree, Leon Kwak, graduated first in his class with a 4.62 grade point average and received straight A’s throughout all four years at Westmont High School. He also lettered in varsity swim and has been an active member of the school’s Robotics Club since ninth grade.
As the recipient of PG&E’s Better Together Scholarship, Kwak will receive up to $20,000 a year for up to five years in support of his college education.
“Our entire Westmont community is honored to have Leon chosen for this prestigious scholarship,” said Westmont High Principal Abra Evanoff. “His academic accolades are almost too numerous to count, yet it is his humble gratitude and strong character that make him so richly deserving.”
After being presented with the scholarship award from PG&E Senior Manager Jake Zigelman, Kwak received a hug from his mother Ha Jung Hye, who was wiping tears from her eyes.
“The success of our students is a reflection of the quality of education that our district and schools provide,” said CUHSD Interim Superintendent Tanya Krause. “We are very proud of the achievements of our students as well as the work of our teachers and principals. This award demonstrates what can happen when we all work together to do our very best.”
CUHSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Mary Streshly agreed.
“This is an amazing example and outcome of the tremendous investments the district has made in its STEM program,” said Streshly. “The big thank you really needs to go to the great support from our board of trustees for seeing the vision and the importance of STEM in the Silicon Valley.”
Also on hand to congratulate Kwak were members of the school’s Robotics Club; math teacher Daniel Coonce; CUHSD Board Members Linda Goytia, Stacey Brown, and Matthew Dean; and a host of public officials including Campbell Mayor Jason Baker and representatives from California State Assembly Member Evan Low’s office, California State Senator Jim Beall's office, and U.S. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s office.
PG&E’s Better Together Scholarship recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of students pursuing higher education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
Since the program’s inception in 2012, PG&E has awarded almost $4 million in scholarships to 500 students throughout Northern and Central California.