The Booster Scholarship helps bridge the gap between college financial aid packages and the cost of attendance, enabling high-achieving SEA students to attend their best-fit college or university. Five high school seniors from SEA’s network of 20 U.S. member organizations will be selected and provided with an up to four-year college scholarship of $4,000 per year. Recipients are selected for their strong intellectual curiosity, leadership, and tenacity. Potential uses for this scholarship include but are not limited to: books, travel, computers, dorm supplies, and food.
Inaugural Class of Awardees
Gicel Abraham (Access Youth Academy) – University of California, Davis
Gicel is a member of San Diego’s Access Youth Academy and will be attending the University of California, Davis to study mechanical engineering. Gicel joined Access Youth Academy in eighth grade. She was an honor roll student throughout high school, volunteered with The Hunger Project and Palmer Way Elementary, participated in Model UN, a mentorship program with MANA de San Diego, and the Robotics Team. She grew up in a Latino, single parent household. “My family has always instilled in me the importance of education,” she shares. “I am proud of being the first in my family to go to college and setting a precedent for my siblings to follow me in my footsteps.” While at UC Davis, Gicel hopes to join the Model UN and Robotics Club and study in a different country.
Tahneja Gaiter (Urban Squash Cleveland) – Case Western Reserve University
Tahneja is a member of Urban Squash Cleveland and will be attending Case Western Reserve University in the fall, where she will work toward her goal of becoming a doctor. In addition to helping out at Urban Squash Cleveland as a mentor to younger students, Tahneja participated in the Neurological Inquiry Seminar Series at Case Western Reserve University, working on research with professors and students. She also took part in a selective, three-year, five-week STEM summer program at Phillips Academy Andover, (MS)2 . Tahneja is a member of the National Honor Society and will be the first person in her family to go to college. “In the next 10 years, I see myself beginning my career as a doctor, buying my first house, and starting my own family,” says Tahneja. “This journey to achieve my future goals all starts with obtaining my undergraduate degree.”
Wendy Gaytan Marin (Mile High 360) – University of New Mexico
Wendy is a member of Denver’s Mile High 360, which she joined in ninth grade. This fall she’ll be attending the University of New Mexico to study film production and sociology. Wendy has interned at the Denver Center for Performing Arts and worked alongside two local filmmakers in the past several years, helping with everything from setting up gear to assisting with translations and post-production. She is excited to join a new community and continue on her path to working in cinema. “I want to create films that tell the stories of humans I have never met,” she shares. On top of managing schoolwork and internships, Wendy helps take care of her four siblings. “With this scholarship, I can hopefully have a part-time job instead of a full-time job, putting that extra time into my classes.”
Krishna Patel (Squash Haven) – Boston University
Krishna joined Connecticut’s Squash Haven seven years ago, at age 11. She will be heading to Boston University in the fall to study human physiology, with the ultimate goal of becoming a cardio thoracic surgeon. Krishna is the first person in her family to go to college. A committed student, Krishna is a member of the Richard C. Lee National Honor Society, the National Society of High School Scholars, and the National Latin Spanish, and Math Honor Societies. She has participated in Girls Who Code and captained a Robo Squad. Krishna looks forward to the opportunity to travel to London during her time at Boston University. “The SEA Booster Scholarship will empower me to live out the college life that I have envisioned for myself,” says Kirshna. “I want to conduct research alongside my professors, compete on the BU squash team, and participate in internship opportunities in Boston.”
Cameron Shepherd (SquashBusters Boston) – University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Cameron joined SquashBusters Boston in seventh grade and has been with the program for five years. He will be attending the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in the fall and plans to study biology and geology, with the goal of becoming a paleontologist. Cameron is described by his mentors as “talented, hardworking, and considerate.” During his high school years, he spent a summer at Brown University studying molecular biology, participated in a month-long backpacking trip through Summer Search, and took part in a peer leadership program through the Department of Public Health. Cameron hasn’t missed a day at SquashBusters since his sophomore year and often spends his free time coaching and volunteering with younger students. “Simple things, like supplies, are a luxury my family cannot afford. This scholarship will help alleviate these concerns and allow me to focus on obtaining my degree,“ says Cameron.