Five La Cañada High School students were surprised to hear their names called at the La Cañada High School Senior Awards Night on June 7 to receive a scholarship from the math department.
Not only was it surprising for the students, but the math department at LCHS was pleasantly surprised to be able to give out five scholarships for the first time, due to an increase in fundraising.
"The La Cañada High School math club has done an amazing job fundraising for scholarships this year," LCHS 9/12 Principal Audra Pittman said at the Senior Awards Night. "The club members elected to award scholarships to five senior members, the most in its history."
Five members of LCHS' math club, including four officers, Gabrielle Badie, Jeff Lewis, Matt Orr and Megan Nathan, set a new benchmark for the club.
"It was completely unexpected," Nathan said. "I thought I was going to be the only officer not to get it."
A total of $1,750 was given out to the students. Three, Badie, Nathan and Tran, received $250, while Lewis and Orr collected $500 each.
"I am pursuing a career that involves math, and I've always liked math, so receiving a math club scholarship was very special to me," Badie said. "I was very honored and grateful."
Each of them has received at least one scholarship for college, and although they are friends now, four of the students are soon-to-be rivals. Nathan and Orr are attending USC, while Lewis and Tran are bound for UCLA.
Badie will attend Pomona College to major in math and economics.
Lewis is majoring in environmental chemistry. Tran will study biochemistry to pursue a career in plant biology or bio-engineering. Nathan is hoping to become a surgeon after majoring in chemistry. Orr has his eye in the sky but is staying grounded with a major in astronomical engineering.
Marianne English, a math teacher at LCHS and math club advisor for the past 11 years, said this group is unique because they brought so much energy and enthusiasm to the club, adding that they have a bright future.
"I am excited for them," English said. "They are going to accomplish great things. This is a very special group."