Scholar of the Week

Lauren Mejia      

Lauren Mejia, a first-year biochemistry student at the University of California, San Diego, is a 2012 HENAAC-NAVSEA/SPAWAR scholarship recipient. Lauren graduated from Monrovia High School, in the top 5% of her class, and with a 4.14 GPA.

The NAVSEA/SPAWAR Scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship awarded to an outstanding, incoming, first-year college student, attending a Hispanic Serving Institution and pursuing a major in STEM. This highly competitive scholarship is renewable, up to four years, and includes a summer internship.

Lauren is described as being a self-starter and technical motivator, with outstanding engineering skills. Working with a small group of students, Lauren founded a First Technology Challenge (FTC) robotics team. As a rookie team and with almost no adult mentorship, her team took the motto of “fake it till you make it” and designed, engineered and built a robot that successfully competed in the FIRST FTC robotics challenge and placed 8th in the Los Angeles FTC championship. The second year, the team placed second in this competition. The team also competed in the San Diego FTC championship and the Las Vegas FTC championship. Lauren was a proven leader and a technical innovator on a team that was primarily made up of male students. This was not a problem for Lauren who applied confidence, insight and tenacity while working on the robot. In fact, Lauren was the team’s driver controlling the robot during the driver controlled period of the competition.

Lauren achieved all this while taking a rigorous and academically challenging class schedule as part of Monrovia High School’s Math and Science Academy.

Lauren’s motivation for success is her family members, many of whom have experienced serious medical conditions. Her goal is to advance medical treatments through bioengineering or biochemistry. The idea that she could help save lives gives her the drive to work in this field.

View More Scholars of the Week