Chico State Awards President’s Scholarships to Five Incoming First-Year Students
Five incoming Chico State students have been selected as recipients of the 2023 President’s Scholarship—one of the University’s most prestigious and one awarded to highly qualified and deserving high school seniors. The students will each receive individual $30,000 scholarships, to be paid over the course of four years.
This year’s winners were selected from nearly 450 applicants and a pool of 80 semi-finalists. The five honorees are:
Marcella Munanui was 2023 class valedictorian at Biggs High School. Extremely involved throughout her high school career, she racked up numerous academic and civic engagement awards and served as class president during her freshman, sophomore, and junior years and as student body executive president during her senior year. She plans to major in child development and pursue a career as an elementary school teacher to serve as a role model for children, just as her teachers did for her during a childhood that was difficult at times. During her senior year, she got a taste of teaching by hosting local kindergartners during a Thanksgiving event.
Jeanine Salgado, from San Francisco, is the daughter of El Salvadorian immigrants and the first in her family to attend college. A graduate of Terra Linda High School, she was active in numerous community service events through The Feminism Club, The Black Student Union, the Interact Club, and Binder Boot campus. Within these groups, she demonstrated an affinity for creating communities where students of all backgrounds could come together. She also volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank and is active in her ministry youth group. Though she enters Chico State undeclared, she is planning to pursue a career in business or marketing.
Susana Sandoval, who graduated from Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek as the senior class president (with a 4.0 GPA), plans to major in computer information systems and pursue a career in cyber security. She was also the founder and president of the Walnut Creek chapter of “Girls Who Code,” and has worked as an IT tech assistant at her high school. In addition, she was the four-year varsity captain and MVP of her high school softball team, as well as a leading member of the Parent Teacher Student Association. Lastly, every year she volunteers at the “three-day 60-mile Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk,” in honor of her late aunt. She looks forward to becoming part of the Chico MESA Engineering Program (MEP), as well as contributing to the cyber security club.
Lauren Wojtkiewicz graduated from Roseville High School. She comes to Chico State as a first-generation student and plans to major in business administration. She prepared for college by taking AP courses, dual enrollment and community college classes and plans to pursue a career in marketing. While in high school, Lauren was the chair of the marketing, community, and rally student government committees, a freshman tour leader, and a member of the Diversity Club. She volunteered for several Sacramento-area organizations and worked part-time as a childcare team member at LifeTime Fitness. She graduated with a 4.1 GPA while balancing work, school, and volunteering.
Seng Yeng (Ariel) Xiong
Ariel Xiong graduated as co-salutatorian from Wheatland Union High School and plans to major in pre-nursing. The daughter of Hmong immigrants from Thailand, it took Xiong until the fifth grade to become involved in scholastic leadership, but since discovering she has a passion for leading both her peers and younger siblings, she hasn’t stopped. She was voted freshman class vice president and class president in both her junior and senior years. She was also president of the Interact Club and vice president of HOSA (future health professionals) and the Asian Pacific Islander Club. Growing up in a small community and loving family she was inspired to pursue a career in nursing to help others.
“These five incoming students all have terrific academic and extracurricular achievements that make them very deserving of the Presidential Scholarship,” said Chico State President Steve Perez. “I look forward to watching what they will do at Chico State as they become leaders among their peers and contribute to our community”
To be considered for a Chico State President’s Scholarship, incoming, first-time freshmen must meet a set of minimum requirements, including:
- A high school grade point average (GPA) 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
Chico State is nationally recognized for its affordability and low debt of its graduates, in part due to the financial aid and other support it offers. In 2021–22, the University awarded $661,534 in scholarships to 415 students representing academic programs across campus. Regardless of accomplishments or GPA, the University encourages all students to apply for scholarships.
Selection of the President’s Scholars is made by the University scholarship committee. For more information about Chico State scholarships, including application deadlines, please visit www.csuchico.edu/fa/scholarships/wildcat.shtml.