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July 4, 2017 > Scholars Shine at American High School

Scholars Shine at American High School

Submitted By Karen L. McCready

The two Fremont Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) chapters in Fremont, as well as students and staff at American High School, are celebrating an unprecedented phenomenon; for the second year in a row, an American High School senior girl has been awarded one of PEO InternationalÕs $2,500 STAR Scholarships. Even more phenomenal is that this year, two girls from American High were nominated, one by each of the two local PEO chapters, and both received the award. On June 1, at American High SchoolÕs Senior Awards Night, representatives from FremontÕs two PEO chapters presented Manasi Maheshwari and Bhavana Kunisetty with their certificates. Senior girls from all the Fremont high schools were invited to apply, but all finalists came from American High. Last yearÕs recipient, also an American High graduate, has completed her first year at Yale.

PEO, an international organization dedicated to providing scholarships and other funding for women to continue their education, instituted the prestigious STAR Scholarship in 2009 for graduating senior girls. Applicants for this highly competitive scholarship must exhibit excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service and potential forÊfuture success. Knowing that almost 2,000 students throughout the US and Canada apply for these scholarships every year, the local PEO scholarship committees put the applicants through a rigorous application process. They require that the girls submit a thorough, annotated chart of all their leadership and academic achievements, their community service, their extracurricular activities, and contact information for their references. The finalists, based on this paperwork, meet the committee for an interview. After the nominee is approved by the PEO chapter, the committee members help to prepare her for all facets of the online application process, including an essay about her educational and career aspirations.


Manasi Maheshwari will be entering Harvard in the fall to study Computer Science, very fitting for someone who founded the STEMgirls Coding Program at American High to introduce junior high girls to STEM fields. Bhavana Kunisetty will be attending Rice University as one of six students chosen for the Rice Baylor Medical Scholars Program (BS/MD - Direct Medicine Program). She will be spending the next four years at Rice University, the following four at Baylor College of Medicine, and graduating with an MD. She hopes to go on to become an orthopedic surgeon. She founded the Future Doctors Club at American High in 10th grade and launched a non-profit, Tech4Health.

Application Alert!
For next yearÕs STAR Scholarships, PEO Chapters RJ and UF are taking applications now and will collaborate on their two choices of nominees again. Any Class of 2018 senior girl with minimum B average who meets the qualifications named above can contact Karen McCready: kmccready60@yahoo.com. Deadline for the application materials is July 1.

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