Even for high-achieving high school students, the path to higher education is not always easy. While GPAs of 4.0 or higher, lots of extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation often open doors to multiple collegiate opportunities, there is still the matter of ensuring an education is affordable and attainable.

At California State University, Chico, the President’s Scholars Program is an important part of the University’s commitment to the recruitment of highly qualified and deserving high school seniors—enhancing affordability by providing individual $30,000 scholarships, to be paid over the course of four years. This year, four incoming freshmen, selected from nearly 1,000 applicants and a pool of 80 finalists, have been recognized as CSU, Chico Presidential Scholars for the 2021–22 academic year. The four honorees are:

Edwin Vargas Burgos

Edwin Vargas Burgos of Thousand Oaks graduated from Thousand Oak High School and plans to major in finance. In high school, he was a member of Latino Connections, an on-campus club that celebrates Latinx culture, aims to connect Latinx students to the school, and books guest speakers and organizes field trips to college campuses to encourage the pursuit of a college degree after high school. Edwin also volunteered at Many Mansions, a nonprofit that donates groceries to the community, and was a four-year member of the soccer team.

Jaclyn Denham

Jaclyn Denham of Ferndale, Washington, graduated from Ferndale High School and plans to major in kinesiology or exercise physiology. An accomplished student-athlete, she will run on both the cross-country and track teams at Chico State. In high school, she was president of the National Honor Society and served as the holiday toy drive coordinator, in which she organized a community-wide toy drive to collect and distribute gifts to more 500 children. Jaclyn also organized a Thanksgiving food drive, was a mentor to freshman, and was a part of the homecoming committee.

Brianna Hafey

Brianna Hafey of Wildomar graduated from Elsinore High School and plans to major in media arts. With a goal of a career in the film industry, she has expressed creativity in the last four years through acting in local plays, music lessons and writing stories. She also discovered a passion for digital art and communication through working with professionals at film-making workshops. Brianna also was part of Future Farmers of America (FFA), where she volunteered and trained students on caring for animals at the school farm.

Andrew Levin

Andrew Levin of Paradise graduated from Paradise High School and plans to major in kinesiology. A Camp Fire survivor, Andrew had to enroll at Chico High School following the fire, then transferred back to Paradise High’s temporary location and finally returned to the rebuilt Paradise High. Through all the upheaval, he maintained his outstanding GPA, continued his scholastic athletic career in basketball and golf, and maintained his dream of becoming a physical therapist. He also volunteered to help Paradise Elementary teachers unload boxes of donations and set up classrooms at their temporary location in Oroville.

“These four students come from different backgrounds and have different interests and goals, but they all have outstanding academic and extra-curricular resumes that make them very deserving of the Presidential Scholarship,” said CSU, Chico President Gayle Hutchinson. “I’m thrilled they chose Chico State to continue their academic journeys and can’t wait to see the positive impacts they make on our campus beginning this fall.”

To be considered for CSU, Chico’s Presidential Scholarships, incoming, first-time freshmen must meet a set of minimum requirements, including:

  • A high school grade point average of at least 3.5
  • Submission of the University online scholarship application (including at least one letter of recommendation)
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 for continued eligibility.

Selection of the President’s Scholars is made by the University scholarship committee. For more information about CSU, Chico scholarships, please visit www.csuchico.edu/fa/scholarships/wildcat.shtml