Youth Science Center Honors STEM Essay Contest Winners in Hacienda Heights

To inspire girls to consider careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the Youth Science Center held its first ever STEM essay contest for girls.

Winners of each division were honored at a gala dinner and received a signed certificate from Gwynne Shotwell, President of Space X Corporation as well as a financial award for their essays.

Annabelle Kim, the Elementary Division winner from Mesa Robles Elementary in Hacienda-La Puente Unified, wants to be a Biochemist or an Environmental Engineer. Tiffany Chan, the Middle School winner from Oswalt Academy in Rowland Unified, wants to be an Oncologist, a physician specializing in the treatment of cancer.

Bernadette Lim, from St. Lucy’s Priory of Glendora, sees her future combining medical research and humanitarian work. With this interdisciplinary career, she hopes to bridge the gap between science and the society it administers to.

All three contestants had to address which part of STEM they were interested in for a future career, what work or projects they see themselves doing, and address why this work would be important to their futures.

Rowland Unified helps 50 families for Thanksgiving


Rowland Unified helped 50 families celebrate Thanksgiving this year by furnishing much-needed baskets of food.

“We collected all the food they’d need for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner,” explained Jennifer Kottke, coordinator for the school district’s Family Resource Center in La Puente.

Struggling families received large laundry baskets filled with turkey or ham, rolls, tortillas, canned vegetables, boxes of mashed potatoes and stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pies. They even got paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware.

“The economy has been rough on many of our families. Some are living in motels or homeless,” Kottke noted. “So the district staff donated even more money and food for our Thanksgiving turkey baskets this year. The entire district and community have been very generous this year.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story Thanks.