President/CEO, Dave Brooke announced the 2017 PLCU Scholarship winners as Ryan Thomas Lehmkul, Meghana Reddy, and Olia Javidi. Each scholarship winner earned a $2,500 award to continue their education and inspirational contributions to society.
Heritage Christian School student, Cryptographer, and Cyber Security enthusiast Ryan Thomas Lehmkul is one of three winners in PLCU’s 20th Annual Scholarship program. Ryan Thomas Lehmkul’s interest in cyber security led him to develop a science fair project on web encryption vulnerabilities when using public WIFI. His project placed third in state and led to an Internship at the SPAWAR Naval base.
Ryan says of his experience, “For the past two summers, I have worked alongside brilliant mathematicians and computer scientists defending our country from cyber threats.”
Ryan plans to follow his interests and pursue a double major in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at U C Berkeley, a school recognized as having one of the world’s top math and computer science departments.
Straight A student at Francis Parker School and Founder of Limbs with Love Meghana Reddy is another winner of the PLCU Scholarship program. Meghana plans to attend Stanford University and earn a double major in Computational Biology and Technology and a minor in Business. Her primary interest is the intersection of medicine and technology and the continuing success of her non-profit.
Meghana started Limbs with Love, a non-profit that 3D prints limbs for children in third world countries. She also became fascinated with technology and its application in biology using a computer-aided drug discovery process to detect inhibitors of VP35 protein of the Ebola virus. Using this method, a cure is found in a shorter time span.
Meghana is finding the courage to pursue her passions, saying, “My future lies in serving the community at large. I know that this passion will follow me throughout my life and manifest itself even during my undergraduate years. I intend to bring innovative solutions in science and technology to help people.”
Francis Parker School student, Robot builder, Hands on Robotics program organizer, and UnitedSTEM founder Olia Javidi is the third winner in PLCU’s 20th Annual Scholarship program. Building robots was a major catalyst for her aspirations to become a Civil Engineer with an emphasis on Transportation Systems studying at Cornell University.
While conducting robotics education assemblies at elementary schools throughout San Diego County with her Hands on Robotics program, Olia explains the different functions of a robot and provides students a hands on experience.
Olia also took action by creating UnitedSTEM, a new kind of equality conference. One that was intersectional, allowed all voices to be heard and taught students about race, sexual orientation, and gender in a STEM context. Olia says, “More importantly, they learned to widen their perspectives, how to overcome adversity, how to advocate for others who may be facing barriers, and how to make STEM more inclusive for all people.”
Point Loma Credit Union is proud to help these three gifted students by naming them winners in its 20th Annual Scholarship Program. The PLCU Scholarship also provides winners an incentive to complete their education: if they maintain a full course load with at least a 2.75 GPA, they are eligible for additional awards of $1,000 each for their sophomore, junior and senior years, for a possible total award of $5,500.
PLCU scholarship applications will be available in January 2018.