While their peers attempt to enjoy Spring Break as best they can while living through a pandemic, 30 high school seniors across Southern California recently received some good news in the form of $40,000.

For years, Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, has awarded local students in its service area with scholarships that will allow them to further their academic pursuits in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at a four-year college or university. This year, Edison Scholars will receive a $40,000 scholarship that will be paid over four years by Edison International.

Half of the scholarship recipients this year are first-generation college students, according to Elizabeth Martinez — who is the sole winner from Santa Monica.

As a member of Samohi’s mathletes (as well as its softball team and Spanish Honor Society), Martinez said she’s had an interest in mathematics so next year she intends to attend Washington University in St. Louis as a student in the McKelvey School of Engineering majoring in computer science or applied math.

“I feel that their school has a lot of resources and it’s really focused on the student body and helping them accomplish a lot of things,” Martinez said.

According to a video submitted by Martinez during the application process, the Samohi senior aspires to live in a society where all children can learn freely and without the burden of financial responsibilities. Martinez added Monday she hopes to one day build a program to give low-income children hands-on opportunities to learn STEM-related concepts outside of the classroom.

“I’m really thankful for Edison International helping me out with this scholarship and allowing me to be a part of the program,” Martinez said. “I think it’s a really great program for not only me, but the other kids who are involved as well.”

Each of the Edison Scholars were supposed to be surprised at school but Edison officials had to adapt due to social distancing orders.

“So it was pretty crazy when I found out,” Martinez said. “They sent me an email basically saying, ‘Can you double-check some information on this link?’ So, I clicked on the link and a video popped up that said I’d won the scholarship. I remember I went to my mom yelling ‘Look!’ And then I called a lot of my family members.”

“We are very proud of these students and their outstanding academic achievements,” said Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International. “The scholarships provide financial support to these deserving scholars and their families so they can focus on their studies. We are counting on them to help us innovate and turn big ideas into real-world solutions and we know they have a bright future ahead.”

Applications for the 2021 Edison Scholars scholarships will be available in October 2020, and prospective applicants are encouraged to visit edisonscholars.com for more information.

brennon@smdp.com

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