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Senior Wins $20,000 Scholarship

PG&E awards senior Dominic Navarro a scholarship to use toward his tuition at UCLA.

Justin Angellar

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Searching for opportunities and accumulating skills to succeed in the future are the most important end goals for high school students. Senior Dominic Navarro understood this well, and worked hard throughout his time at Rocklin High. He entered a nationwide competition awarding a $20,000 per year scholarship given by PG&E – and won it.

There were a few requirements for entrants into the competition. Competitors had to be aspiring to a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and be in an area covered by PG&E. Those who met these requirements could apply for the competition.

“I filled out every application, my information, my test scores, my grades, and general stuff about me,” Dominic said. “There was [also] a section like a short essay, basically describing myself and what I do more in depth.”

Dominic’s parents were informed about his success before he was, and they decided to surprise him with the news. His father works at KCRA and brought a camera crew into Dominic’s classroom to surprise him with the good news.

“A lot was going through my head, for one thing I was going to have to stand up and go in front of a huge camera. I was nervous but obviously very excited to get such an amazing award,” Dominic said about the announcement.

Dominic also mentions he was not in peak condition for accepting an award on camera: “I was also very exhausted because the night before I just saw a late screening of the new Captain America movie and I was just dead tired.”

In retrospect, Dominic is very excited to have gotten the prestigious award.

“I was very pleasantly surprised. It was a huge surprise for me and my family. I’m pretty much set for the next four years and that is amazing,” Dominic said.

Dominic is attending UCLA, which was his top school of choice.

“I am going there for mechanical engineering, which is good because the scholarship extends for 5 years and engineering can take a while to accomplish,” he said.

He is also a bit nervous for attending such a prestigious university: “I’m a little worried about UCLA because it is supposed to be very intense,” Dominic said.

He went on to say that the students that get accepted may be intimidating.

“The students that go there are all brilliant, so that might be a little difficult but I am still very excited to be attending,” he said.

An award as large as the one Dominic won may seem to increase the pressure to perform well in college; however, he keeps a level head. He’s also happy to not have to worry about student loans.

“I don’t feel so much pressure from the scholarship; rather, that it opens more doors for me,” he said. “I can pursue other interests during college rather than trying to find ways to make more money.”

Although it is very hard to be sure of the future, Dominic Navarro’s definitely looks bright.

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Senior Wins $20,000 Scholarship