We are awestruck and inspired by the Tony So Fun Scholarship applications from students all around the world! It was a pleasure to read through all of the applications, and really tough making the decisions. We encourage all students to continue to strive toward their goals of the world they imagine.
One award was planned to be given for each age category of applicants: ages 13-15, ages 16-18, and ages 19-21. To apply, students had to write a 1000-word proposal describing what they wished to explore, protect, or invent. In addition, the applicant had to submit a letter of support from a teacher, mentor, or advisor. A few additional students in the 13-15 inspired us greatly so we had to recognize them. Therefore, two additional young awardees will be recognized for their inspiration and intentions in memory of our Co-founder, Tony So. Each recipient listed below will receive a $500 US scholarship to support their personal missions and projects. We are pleased to announce the following awardees:
Purusothman (Bruce) Murasolimaran – Kallady, Sri Lanka (19). Growing up during the civil war in Kalmunai, young Bruce and his family often experienced long duration power outages. Taking advantage of the dark sky, Bruce looked upward to the stars as a reprieve from the shelling and killing. Rural Sri Lanka also meant no internet, but he found knowledge in books. With tenacity, he found his way to the Royal College in Colombo under scholarship, and currently serves as the the lead Guardian for Dreamspace Academy’s Space Lab. Bruce would like to assist the generation coming up behind him to provide better access to information and experiences. His sponsor, Anna Jeyaraj Moses, shares that Bruce’s positive outlook and motivation leaves an indelible impression for future possibilities.
Eunice Lopato – Nairobi, Kenya (16). The pandemic was a call to action for Eunice where she was involved in a projects such as measuring the impact COVID-19 had on her peers or quantifying missed opportunities for COVID-19 testing. In addition to her earnest expression to reflect on an award, she has proposed a budget to support her school in health and safety as it relates to pandemics along with a budget for her science club looking to support rural hospital needs. Her sponsor, Jasper Owuor noted that “Eunice is a calm, organized, and sharp minded girl with unique abilities to solving scientific problems”. After reading her essay, we can agree with Mr. Owuor!
Nourelhouda Ben Yahia – Guelmim, Morocco (15). The daughter of a military veterinarian, Nourelhouda has been inspired by science at a young age, and hopes that a scholarship could help in her broad interest across human impact and nature’s balance. She describes herself as “a former dreamer, actual worker, and future scientist.” (We say never stop dreaming Nourelhouda!) Her sponsor, Ayoub El Idrissi notes Nourelhouda’s congenial personality and team building abilities. We look forward to hearing more about this young science leader.
Zoe Bonifacio – Sydney, Australia (15). Born in the Philippines to a family of farmers, Zoe immigrated to Australia at the age of 3. Her family kept and reinforced the rich heritage and culture of their homeland, and her mother shared many stories of how they would work in harmony with the land. Zoe has concern that we are separating from nature and believes sustainable agriculture can help civilization thrive. Zoe intends to donate the scholarship to her school, Hurlstone Agricultural High School, to create a program of day presenters to create learning experiences for all of the students. Her sponsor, Sharon Davis, notes that Zoe is an enthusiastic, engaged, and selfless student with many talents and passions.
Jolene Nekesa – Matunda, Kenya (13-15). As chairperson of her environmental club, Jolene strives to create champions in environmental protection. Her focus is on flooding and soil erosion felt by local maize farmers. Jolene’s action oriented essay includes a detailed budget for shovels, hoes, watering cans, and other materials to plant tree seedlings to mitigate these threats. Her sponsor, Robert Mayaka, has been her teacher for the last two years, and sees great promise in this young leader. Jolene, like all awardees, please keep us updated!
We feel this group exemplifies Tony’s drive and passion for a better world and congratulate these young visionary leaders on the future they each envision.