A senior at West Seattle High School will become the first member of her family to head to college, thanks in part to a scholarship from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Cassia Nichol Cearley, who plans to major in biology at Washington State University, received the $3,000 PEMCO Foundation Scholarship during a reception and award ceremony last night at the Hutchinson Center's campus on South Lake Union.
"For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to go to college," she wrote in her scholarship application. "Going to college gives me the opportunity to set a good example for my younger sisters. " You don't have to be as smart as Albert Einstein or as rich as Bill Gates to go to college. You just have to have the drive to achieve. Being college-bound requires a lot of effort, and I will be the first to show them that all the effort pays off."
Cearley's scholarship was made possible by an honor bestowed earlier this year upon the Center's Science Education Partnership, a mentorship program for secondary-school science teachers throughout the state. In January, the program received the 1998 Golden Apple Award for educational excellence sponsored by public television stations KCTS and KYVE, and PEMCO Financial Services. The award included a $3,000 scholarship, to be given to a local high-school student of the winner's choice.
"We selected Cassia for the scholarship because of her excellent academic credentials and the fact that she is quite well-rounded -- senior class president, band member. She shows a lot of ambition," says Dr. Barbara Berg, the Science Education Partnership's program manager.
Cearley was among 19 Seattle high school girls honored Tuesday evening at the Hutch for completing the Bridge to the Future Certificate in Science Program, a nine-month mentorship program sponsored by the Seattle chapter of the Association for Women in Science. The program featured a presentation by Hutch bone-marrow transplant researcher Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb, who delivered a talk entitled "From Bench to Bedside: How Research Makes a Difference."
The goal of the Bridge Program is to build an awareness and interest in science and science careers among high school girls. Activities range from job shadowing with women scientists to science-career panels and volunteer community service.
The Hutchinson Center supports the Bridge Program by donating space for its monthly meetings and science equipment for hands-on activities, from DNA sequencing to genetic "fingerprinting."
"We've been very fortunate to use the resources of the Hutch," says Bridge Program co-coordinator Dr. Laura Streichert, who recently joined the Hutch as program manager of HutchLab, a program for high school students that will begin this summer at the Center.
"It's very valuable for students to have the chance to work at a world-renowned research institution like the Hutch," she says.
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Media please note:
- The Bridge to the Future Certificate in Science award ceremony will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, in the Hutchinson Center's Thomas Clinical Research Building, 1100 Fairview Ave. N. (in the Sze conference rooms off the main entrance.) Members of the media are welcome to attend.
- Cassia Cearley will not learn of her scholarship until the awards ceremony on Tuesday evening, so please don't attempt to contact her or her family until after the event.
- To arrange an interview with any of the Bridge Program students or with leaders of the Science Education Partnership or Bridge Program, please contact Kristen Woodward, (206) 667-5095
1998-1999 Bridge to the Future Certificate in Science Program Graduates
Tegan Callahan, 11th grade
Emma Edwards, 11th grade
Helen Wu, 11th grade
Chief Sealth High
Chantha Ny, 11th grade
Sophea Ny, 11th grade
Suzanne Asuncion, 10th grade
Jennifer Fung, 10th grade
Roann Lubang, 10th grade
Nicole Little, 12th grade
Phung Luong, 11th grade
Jaime Biava, 10th grade
Amanda Pease, 10th grade
Nathan Hale High
Angela Alfonso, 12th grade
Lai Shan Wong, 11th grade
Rainier Beach High
Robyn Johnson, 12th grade
Zeba Ahmad, 11th grade
Anita Ha, 12th grade
Samoeun San, 11th grade
West Seattle High
Cassia Cearley, 12th grade
CONTACT: Kristen Woodward
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Until 9 p.m. May 18, 1999