This spring, more than three million high school seniors will don caps and gowns with their classmates joining the ranks of graduates. This year, Comcast congratulated our Leaders and Achievers Scholarship recipients on the steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento for its ten year anniversary at the Capitol. This year’s 194 winners were from across California from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Alongside the winners were their beaming parents, close family, friends and legislators. And more importantly, they were armed with active twitter accounts and $214,000 in scholarship money.
The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program from the Comcast Foundation provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the form of a $1,000 award. The scholarship recipients are nominated on the basis of commitment to community service, leadership and academics by either their high school principal or guidance counselor.
Two of these future leaders were selected for the Founder’s Scholarship. Each year, two California Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners are chosen from amongst their peers to receive the $10,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship in honor of Founder of Comcast Corporation Ralph J. Roberts.
This year’s winners were Marieli A. Rubio of St. Helena High School in St. Helena and Ian Robert Chiang of Balboa High School in San Francisco. They will be attending Santa Clara University and CSU-Monterey Bay this fall respectively. The announcement had Chiang particularly in shock, “it was a complete surprise and when I won it my jaw just dropped.” While both expressed astonishment at their awards Rubio did the math quickly, “It’s gonna help me a lot. I received a good financial package from Santa Clara University but with this extra help hopefully I’ll graduate debt free.”
And being debt free is what Doug Cooley, Comcast Vice President of State Government Affairs, West Division is hoping for these students. He gave the opening remarks stating his hopes for the Leaders and Achievers class of 2017 while admitting despite the scholarship the solution to the cost for higher education still has a long way to go. For many students, college attendance means thousands of dollars in loans and college debt. On average, the class of 2016 accumulated $37,172 in student debt and it’s only growing. Although it’s just a drop in the bucket, Comcast wants to help.
Since its founding in 2000, the Leaders and Achievers program has given more than $26 million in scholarships to over 25,000 graduating high school seniors. This year, the program will provide more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students across the country and of those students 194 will be from California.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra spoke about the benefits of companies contributing to solutions for their communities. While the cost may be daunting, Keynote Speaker, Attorney General Xavier Becerra emphasized the opportunities of higher education and the benefits of programs like Leaders and Achievers for rewarding and enabling the future leaders of this country to pursue their dreams. In his words, “It’s not just a giveaway, it’s not just a scholarship, it’s an investment in our future.”
It wasn’t just the physical world that was buzzing. Throughout the ceremony, Twitter was chirping with #LeadersandAchieversCA and as attendees posted photos and messages with legislators, family and their peers. Additionally, attendees were going viral with their scholarship acceptances with poster’s naming their favorite part of the Leaders and Achievers ceremony. The tweets exemplified the event with testimonials of unity, hope, pride and personal fulfillment.
The winning Tweet by Kelly Koehnen:
— Kelly Koehnen (@kellyannabee) June 6, 2017
For more information about the Leaders and Achievers program go to: http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/recognizing-the-best-and-brightest-nationwide