Joyce Alcon

Joyce Alcon

Joyce was a STEM student (Science Technology & Engineering and Math) at Cleveland High School where she excelled in a series of courses in computer science. Interested in becoming a nurse and working in the healthcare field, Joyce’s plans after high school include attending UW-Seattle to start in the Pre-Nursing field of studies.

While at CHS, she was Vice President of the Filipino Club, belonged to the National Honor Society, and played on the CHS volleyball team. She earned the JV softball Coach’s Award.

Joyce joined the Skills Center Health Sciences & Medical Assisting program while holding internships at Seattle Goodwill and the Boys & Girls Club. She volunteered with United Filipino to RISE, contributed to food bank activities for the Filipino Community, participated in the Seattle Community Farming and Phone Bank for Asian Counseling Referral Services; and provided technical help for Agape Christian Ministry.

Her high school counselor shared that “Joyce is a resilient student who immigrated to the US from the Philippines when she was 14. Despite many obstacles faced in her life and the difficult transition to a new country, she still excelled and put forth all her effort into succeeding in her academics and extracurricular activities. what I also admire about Joyce is her deep commitment and support for her family.” She received a $2,000 scholarship from CHSAA.

Terresa Tran

Terresa has been accepted at UW – Seattle. She had a GPA of 3.99 while taking multiple AP courses. She will major in Prehealth Sciences with a future goal of becoming a family physician. She was fortunate to serve an Internship at Swedish Hospital and that experience solidified her desire to enter the health care field as a physician. Terresa worked 24 hours a week during summers. She will receive $2,000 toward college expenses from CHSAA. One letter of high recommendation pointed out how Terresa was quite shy as a freshman, then took a leap of faith and was elected to leadership roles and became a respected leader in several areas including the Business Club and the Health Organization Student Association, which is geared to future health professionals. She is a team player and has artistic creativity. Community service includes working at a Foodbank and supporting marathons. Her activities include visiting family members, frisbee, and teaching herself a new musical instrument.

Chapel Barnes

Chapel’s range of activities demonstrates a good balance of class work, school governance, community (YMCA),
sports (soccer), and social justice work.

She served in CHS student government for four years and is politically engaged in the community, was a leader on the first-ever CHS literary magazine, and was active in mentoring 9th graders as a leader on the Link Crew.

One teacher commented that, while Chapel recognizes the inequities in the world
and feels strongly about them, she is capable of listening well to the stories and concerns of others.

Chapel has successfully applied for a scholarship from The New School in New York. CHSAA has awarded Chapel $2,000 to help reduce college debt. In college at The New School, Chapel plans to focus on education with a minor in film and has already made a film for the South End Stories’ film festival. It is her goal to support through film the racism work of educators and students of color. This career tracks with her community actions for social justice.

We wish Chapel good luck and success on her journey toward bettering the world for all.

Andrew Hong

Andrew Hong was awarded a $2,000 CHSAA scholarship to Stanford University and plans to major in Political Science and Data Science. Due to the
coronavirus, he decided to take a year off so his funding
will be postponed.

In high school, he was involved in the Politics Club, the debate team, and he was on the swim team. In his community, he was involved with a youth gun violence prevention organization and supporting candidates for public office. His hobbies and activities include competitive swimming on a club team, helping juniors and seniors write college application essays, and mapping and analyzing local and national precinct-level election data.

In his letters of recommendation, he is noted as being mature beyond his age and always wanting to help others shine. Andrew sets a high standard for himself. His assistance in helping political candidates was innovative. Andrew’s career path hopes to lead him to address issues that will improve life for south-end citizens.

Valeria Grasso

Valeria Grasso

Installing sculptures, advertising, scheduling and settings, and leading classes and tours, Valeria volunteered for seven years at a Monarch Sculpture Park – a public outdoor center for sculpture and art set in nature. As a teenager, art was her path to understanding community, equality and individuality of its members, and the power of art as an outlet for strong mental health.

Valeria’s career goal is to work as a therapist where she can help individuals who are suffering through a clinical or non-clinical crisis. She hopes to provide accessible mental health care at a systemic level. It is one reason why she has taken leadership roles and became actively involved in student government and organizations. She enjoys and is dedicated to connecting with people to build a community. She is passionate about the impact of collective community effort and rallies her communities together with her leadership and authenticity. Her teachers commended her compassion, moral compass, and academic capability and achievements.

This fall, Ms. Grasso will attend the University of Washington-Seattle to study psychology. She plans to continue volunteering at Monarch Sculpture Park to give back and to keep it going for the next generation.

Valeria was awarded $3,000 from the CHS Alumni Association.

Justin Nguyen

Justin Nguyen

Who would decide his life’s career while doing lightsaber duels on the playground? Inspired by Star Wars, he knew as a young child that it will be astrophysics! This passion has motivated him to study advanced science and math through high school, and to be accepted by USC for training as a science researcher in a space research facility.

While Astronomy and Astrophysics is Justin’s focus, he has also embraced school activities like sports (tennis, swim team), student government (class president, Kay Club president, and FUN (robotics, art show, playing guitar, drawing).

While Justin’s success to date is the result of his high motivation and clear planning, he is quick to appreciate CHS’s group-based learning model and the support and wisdom of several teachers.

Members of the CHS Alumni Scholarship team are pleased to include Justin in the scholarship awards to help with tuition and textbooks. He was awarded $2,000 from CHSAA.

We wish Justin smooth sailing in his space career

CHSAA Scholarship Recipient

Gwyneth Gras-Usry

Gwyneth was raised in a two-parent household that was supportive of her educational endeavors. She needed extra time and extra help due to her Asperger’s syndrome, which was diagnosed early in life. She has maintained a near-perfect GPA and has been accepted at the University of Washington. She plans on studying science.

Gwyneth wants to be in the field of math and science and believes she can make a difference by applying her skills in fields where women are underrepresented. She is dedicated to her studies, has worked an outside job, and is known to her teachers to be bright and always prepared.

CHSAA Scholarship Recipient

Brandon Teeny

Brandon came to CHS from a homeschool background and jumped in with both feet. He has taken a full load of math and science classes and participated in CHS varsity golf, baseball and tennis. Brandon has been a videographer for CHS Publications and served on the ASB cabinet. Brandon worked for three years with the Pacific Science Center (Discovery Corp) in 6-month stints. He began in a Robot Internship, then a Planetarium Internship, progressing to the role of Senior Interpreter 2 which included training volunteers and employees. He honed his public speaking skills by producing live shows.

Brandon extracurricular activities include:

  • Global Visionaries, 3 years, including immersion in a building construction project and Spanish in Guatemala.
  • Church activities and First Tee Mentoring and Leadership program.

Oh, yes, and Brandon managed to maintain a 3.974 GPA in his spare time! Brandon is thankful that, in his junior year, one of his teachers observed that he had a rather negative outlook on life. Fortunately, he had the good sense to change that.

The result, he says, was that his ”senior year has been a blast academically, athletically, and socially.”

What’s next for Brandon? He is attending Valparaiso University near Chicago. Fascinated by meteorology since competing in the Science Olympiad and predicting weather in an NOAA program, he will study to be a meteorologist. Brandon hopes to use the Spanish language he has studied for five years in his career and wants to help people understand and prepare for adverse weather.

CHSAA Scholarship Recipient

Johairah Bongato

Johairah received a scholarship to pursue her dream of becoming an environmental engineer. She will study at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is familiar with the setting as she has been part of the Outward Bound program. She became involved with the study of energy using wind turbines and won a regional competition with her teammates.

Activities at school and in the community include track and field, biking, president of the Filipino Club and pep band. She has worked part-time throughout high school.

Her letters of recommendation are highlighted with high praise for her leadership skills, intelligence, and hard work.

Johairah has faced many struggles in her home life but always has a smile on her face. Her parents are moving to the Philippines and have little or no financial or emotional support for her. She has been homeless but has not given up and continues to move forward.

CHSAA Scholarship Recipient

Andrew Cornel

Andrew will be going to the U of W in Bothell. He plans to study communications with public health or business administration. As a Filipino-American, he wants to increase the presence of people of color in the newsroom and in the profession of journalism.

His school activities included being Senior Class President, Filipino Club president, lead anchor and reporter Cleveland Publications, Cleveland Singsations Choir (co-founder/ Officer) and CHS PTSA student representative. He has also received multiple honors for his journalism and video broadcasting work.

While pursuing his studies, he received many accolades for his leadership and organization skills, his drive to get better at all things, and his compassion and humility.

He steps up when he sees a need whether helping secure auction items or organizing the journalism program’s processes. His recommendation letters proclaimed his character and ethics.

Andrew’s community-oriented activities have included teacher assistant, St. Edward School volunteer, food distributer at a food bank, and a food sorter and packager for Food Lifeline.

He was an altar server at church, a singer/guitarist in a multicultural choir, and a musician for Ana AHanu ‘L Ku’uleialoha.

The CHS alumni association is proud to support his academic pursuits.

CHSAA Scholarship Recipient

Jessica Louie

Jessica was a scholarship recipient and plans to attend the University of Washington in Seattle where she has been accepted into their Direct to Computer Science program. She maintained a 4.0 GPA and developed a diverse set of skills always looking for the ‘why’ behind concepts. She was active in Girls Who Code, was part of the Running Start program and was president of the National Honor Society. She was influenced by her aunt, who taught her about hard work, good family values, and that perseverance is the key to success. Jessica also took AP courses and was always working ahead of her class. She received an AP Scholar Award. She volunteered at the Jefferson Community Center and UW Making Connections.

She was also part of All Girl Everything Frisbee Program – a grassroots tackling social justice issues activity.

Her sports activities include Soccer (team captain in 2018) and Varsity Frisbee.

She wants to use her degree in the computer science fields to attain an executive position and be an influence in mentoring and encouraging women to do the same.

Jessica’s hobbies include: playing guitar, sketching and drawing.

CHSAA Scholarship Recipient

Calvin Fung

A lecture from Dr. Adam D. Leache, an Environmental Scientist, through University of Washington Math Science Upward Bound (MSUB) program, inspired Calvin Fung to expand his appreciation for the outdoors from a hobby to a major in environmental science. His junior and senior year extracurricular activities centered around sustainability efforts on campus. Calvin joined the Green Team, a student-led club with hands-on activities in the school garden and fundraising to advocate for small changes in the school. He collected dried whiteboard markers from classroom teachers and mailed them to the Crayola Company to repurpose the plastic and reduce the impact of dense plastic waste on the environment.

The professors in the summer Upward Bound program as well as his teachers at Cleveland High School commended Calvin’s work ethic and energy and believe he will rise to the rigor of college coursework.

In the fall of 2019, Calvin has begun his pursuit of an Environmental Science degree at the University of Washington in Seattle.