The Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame (CEC) awarded scholarships on May 22 to Alexander Vina and Isabella Acenas of Burlingame High School’s Class of 2017. Both live in Burlingame.
CEC presented a $2,500 scholarship to Isabella Acenas, who has a strong academic record that includes Environmental Science studies and a remarkable history of public service. She has founded and manages two nonprofit foundations, one that brings medical services to a remote village in the Philippines from which her family originally came, and another that mentors and counsels Filipino and Pacific Islander youths in the Bay Area. She also volunteers with the Mid-Peninsula Boys and Girls Club, where she supervises children working on mini-research projects. She is committed to a life of public service, with a keen sustainability awareness. She will attend New York University, where she plans to major in either Environmental Biology or Geophysics.
CEC awarded a $500 scholarship to Alexander Vina, who became concerned about the environment through personal experience. His family has vacationed for two generations at Clear Lake in an area that recently has become overwhelmed by an algal bloom, preventing swimming, kayaking and other recreational pursuits. After seeing the results of unchecked environmental problems and nature out of balance, he became committed to preserving the natural world for future generations and studied Advanced Placement Environmental Science at Burlingame High. He has been accepted into the Environmental Studies program at Chico State University.
CEC began offering scholarships to graduating seniors at Burlingame High School in 2016. The awards recognize, honor and encourage students who are motivated by environmental issues and who plan to pursue college studies and careers that focus on protecting the environment. This year’s award is supported by a generous donation from the Morris S. Smith Foundation (Sterling Franklin, Trustee).