Chowchilla High student awarded $40K Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship and Internship

Jessica Harrington Image
Saturday, June 15, 2024
Chowchilla High student awarded $40K Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship and Internship
One Chowchilla High School teacher is now celebrating her student's achievements as he prepares to head off to college.

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Diana Starn has wrapped up another year of teaching students how to code at Chowchilla High School.

The business teacher takes pride in her students and pushes them to reach for the stars.

That's why when she came across the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship and Internship in 2022, she encouraged her students to apply.

"I found out about it just through email," Starn said.

The scholarship awards students up to $40,000, $10,000 per year of college.

To her delight, one of her students and Tech Club president, Antonio "AJ" Brasil, won.

"We were both really surprised," Starn said.

With a win under her belt, she knew she wanted her students to go for it again.

"I definitely pushed it this year," Starn said.

Francisco Aguilar, who goes by Frankie, says it was AJ's win that gave him the confidence to fill out the application.

"I saw that if he could win, I could also have a chance of winning from a small school," Frankie said.

Mrs. Starn wrote Frankie's recommendation letter and, four months later, an Amazon package arrived on Frankie's doorstep notifying him he'd won.

"I was just so excited, like jumping up and down," Frankie said.

Starn says she hopes these scholarships help build confidence in not just Frankie, but all of her students that they can do whatever they put their mind to.

"I just think it's really important for them to really realize, I can be in that seat, I can be in that boardroom," Starn said.

The scholarship will help Frankie as he heads to UC Berkeley in the fall to study computer science.

"Having this extra money is a really big stress reliever for me," Frankie said.

He says it's also felt good to share with his parents who didn't attend college themselves.

"They really pushed education on me - so now that they're seeing that all this has paid off, it really makes me happy that I'm really making them proud," Frankie said.

In addition to the scholarship, Frankie will also have the opportunity to take part in a summer internship with Amazon after his freshman year of college, that way he can start building his resume.

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