2012 Scholarship Recipients

Jacksonville Asian American Alliance (JAAA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Jacksonville Asian American Alliance College Scholarship Award. Seven high school seniors were selected based on academic achievements, leadership skills and community service. They are: 

Ana Bautista (Stanton College Preparatory High School). With a GPA of 4.8, Ana is a National Merit Finalist, and a recipient of the Girl Scouts of America Gold Award and the United Way Faces of Success Award. She won 1st place (statewide) and 2nd place (national) in InvestWrite Competition in the Spring 2010 and received the Clieve Andriesse Award at the NE Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair. She is a member of Stanton’s Brain Brawl Team and the Women’s Varsity Golf Team. Using a curriculum she developed, Ana tutors children and works as a financial literacy teacher at The Bridge of NE Florida. She volunteered at Shands Hospital, and serves on the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Her guidance counselor writes: “Ana’s zeal for learning is not limited to subjects she learns through our curriculum…. she delves into different research pertaining to economy and business.” Ana was accepted into the Penn Civic Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania where she plans to major in business/economics at the Wharton Business School.

Alexis Boulter (Stanton College Preparatory High School), is an AP scholar and a National Merit Commended Scholar. She was recognized for her outstanding achievement in the National Latin Exam and is a member of several honor societies including the National Honor Society. She is active with the Junior Civitan Club and Stanton’s Hawaiian dance group. A dedicated athlete, Alexis received the Spirit Award in swimming. She’s a four-year varsity swimmer, two-year varsity in track and field, and a member of the lacrosse and soccer teams at Stanton. She volunteered at Baptist Medical Center, serving as coordinator and team leader for other volunteers. She was Counselor in Training at Camp JADA, a program for children with diabetes. Through her dances in the Multicultural Club, Alexis helps spread cultural awareness and promotes tolerance. With a GPA of 4.7, her AP math teacher describes Alexis as “an academic powerhouse around campus… a compassionate and caring friend.” Alexis plans to pursue medicine at the University of Florida where she was offered participation in the UF Honors Program. 

Stephanie Hum (The Bolles School) is an AP Scholar and a National Merit Commended Scholar. She is class valedictorian and only the 10th Bolles student in the last 15 graduating classes to earn straight A’s. With a GPA of 4.85, Stephanie has received numerous awards including The University of Rochester Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award and The Yale Book Award. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, and National Latin Honor Society. She was ranked Sobresaliente (Outstanding) in Congreso State Spanish Competition for Impromptu Speech and Declamation, won awards at the Regional Latin Forum, and received Gold Cup Awards from the Florida Federation of Music Clubs. Stephanie volunteers at Nemours Children’s Clinic and the Mayo Clinic. She participated in a trip to the Dominican Republic to teach children. The Director of Counseling at Bolles describes Stephanie as “brilliant, focused, kind, intense and cheerful.” The Director writes: “Stephanie Hum has left a legacy at Bolles.” She wants to be a physician and was accepted to Dartmouth College to pursue biology/pre-medicine. 

Christina Savvidis (Paxon School for Advanced Studies) is an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Finalist. She also received a scholarship award from the Mayor’s Asian American Advisory Board. An accomplished pianist, Christina has won many piano competition awards both locally and statewide. Christina is a member of the National Honor Society, Florida Federation of Music Clubs, and Classics Club. She participated in Brain Brawl, Youth Leadership Jacksonville, and the Gold Eagle Ambassadors program. She teaches modern Greek classes to five- to eight-year old children at her church and has won several awards for her literary and language proficiency at the District Latin Forum. With a GPA of 4.9, Christina wrote the IB required 4,000-word essay on the philosophy of language. “Christina’s essay challenged me to learn a new area of philosophy,” wrote her teacher. Described as “confident, self-reliant, and determined,” she volunteers at the Museum of Science and History and collaborated on a curatorial project exhibit highlighting NASA’s Kepler space mission. She will pursue English language arts education at Rice University. 

Wenli (Winnie) Shao (Nease High School) ranks 1st out of 351 students and has a GPA of 4.7. The awards she has received include: National AP Scholar, Coca Cola Scholars Semifinalist, National Merit Finalist, Piano Federation Honoree, Ponte Vedra Artwork Winner, Commissioner’s Academic Challenge State Finalist, and the Chinese New Year Celebration Performance Award. A National Honor Society member, Winnie is president of Nease’s National English Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society. She interned at MIT for four weeks where she conducted research with vagus nerve stimulation, assisted with respiration research and prepared brain slides/chemicals. Winnie taught English to children in China and translated for foreign teachers. She volunteers at the Museum of Contemporary Art and at the library, and participates in youth activities through the Jacksonville Chinese Association. Her English teacher describes Winnie as a young person of “character, intellect, and leadership of highest caliber.” She was admitted to Brown University to study economics. 

Crisellyson Soliman (Paxon School for Advanced Studies) is Battalion Commander/
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel (highest leadership) of the JROTC. President of Student Government Association, Cris has received the Bank of America Student Leader Award. With a GPA of 4.6, he is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit Commended Student; received the AP International Diploma, Discus Award, U.S. Marine Corps Superior Athletics Award, QuestBridge College Prep Award; and placed 2nd in the Northeast Florida Regional Science Fair. Cris is President of the National Honor Society at Paxon and founded the Biomedical Club and the SMILE Middle School Tutoring, a student-run organization that provides academic support to local inner-city middle school students. He also mentors at-risk students through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Described as a “natural leader who enjoys working with others toward a common goal,” Cris was chosen as a Golden Eagle Ambassador for his excellent leadership skills. His JROTC Instructor writes: “Cadet Soliman has shouldered significant responsibility in his household from an early age and still finds time to support his family while focusing on his studies.” The first person from his family to attend college in America, Cris was accepted to Harvard to study neuroscience and economics.

Isaias Suarez (Mandarin High School) has excelled in the rigorous AICE Program with a GPA of 4.8. He is an AP Scholar with Distiction and was recognized as the best student in both science and math during his junior year. In addition, Joshua has been an A/B honor roll student throughout his four years at Mandarin High. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the Academic League/Brain Brawl team, the Drama and Interact Clubs, and the Glee & Anime Clubs. Isaias’ artistic side manifests itself in being a violinist, a thespian, a singer, and an animator. He has given his time volunteering for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the YMCA, the Mandarin Rotary, and Gate River Run. He mentors and tutors students in chemistry and math on a regular basis. Dr. Richardson, principal at Mandarin High, describes Isaias as “articulate and mature” with a “positive outlook on life which is infectious to others around him… He has a kind heart and he is so genuine.” He plans to major in physics and computer science at Washington University in St. Louis.

According to JAAA President Fina Russell, “JAAA is proud to be supporting seven outstanding young people in their pursuit of higher education.”  “The scholarship program demonstrates JAAA’s commitment to education by assisting students who excel academically and have a strong record of community service,” commented Doreen Flippin, Chair of the 2012 JAAA Scholarship Program.

The 2012 Jacksonville Asian American College Scholarship Program is supported by the following sponsors: