Cargill has awarded eight Newark Memorial High School graduating seniors a total of $12,500 in colleges scholarships through Cargill's Claire Lopez Memorial Scholarship Program.
- Yejia (Gina) Chin ($4,000), biochemistry and molecular biology, UC Berkeley
- Sandeep Kaur, ($3,000), genetics, UC Berkeley
- Ryan Anderson, ($1,500), mechanical engineering, San Diego state University
- Lani Renshaw, ($1,500), environment and biological sciences, San Jose StateUniversity
- Kaitlin Cummings, ($1000), neuroscience, UCLA
- Ashley Ittner ($500), mathematics, Cal-Poly, San Luis Obispo
- Jocelyn Luna ($500), nursing, University of San Francisco
- Salma Syed ($500), mechanical engineering, USC.
Despite having top grades and glowing recommendations, Gina Chen said she was "so surprised to get this (the top award); my heart stopped."
"My mom doesn't make a whole lot of money, so getting this helps so much," she added.
Since initiating its Newark Memorial High School scholarship program with a top grant of $1,000 in 1999, Cargill has awarded $97,500 to Newark high school graduates in honor of Claire Lopez, the former chief engineer for the salt company.
Scholars who choose a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) major may apply through the Newark Memorial High School counseling office.
Applications are judged by a committee of Cargill employees who review candidate grades, extracurricular activities, community service, essay, recommendations and financial need.
The scholarship rewards students who reflect the personal qualities of the late Claire Lopez.
With only an eight grade education, Lopez rose to become chief engineer of the LeslieSalt Company (Cargill's predecessor), overseeing salt operations on 40,000 acres and the construction of three salt plants. He also served on the Fremont School Board and dedicated much of his time to mentoring young people.