South Pasadena High School senior, Andres Oyaga, has been selected as a 2019 Posse Foundation Scholar and will be attending Middlebury College in the fall.
The Posse Foundation annually awards full-ride scholarships to 100 exemplary students from 10 cities across the U.S. Applicants undergo a dynamic assessment process that reviews their leadership experience, intellectual energy, and commitment to pursuing higher education. Oyaga will be part of a “posse”, a group of 10 students from the Los Angeles area who will attend Middlebury and participate in foundation-sponsored workshops, meetings and peer collaboration groups beginning during his senior year and continuing through college graduation.
Oyaga intends to study Environmental Studies and Biology in preparation to become a Conservation Biologist. In addition to being an excellent scholar, Oyaga is a photographer for Tiger Newspaper and has been a fixture on SPHS stages as an actor, most recently in the acclaimed production of “The Laramie Project”. Oyaga has volunteered extensively with Door of Hope, Vision Grace Church, and the Audobon Society.
This past summer Oyaga participated in a Marine Biology class at Glendale College where he was surrounded by other students passionate about the ocean where they conducted research on climate change, pollution, and animal behavior. Part of the program was spent in Bahia de Los Angeles, Mexico, where Oyaga tells us they swam with whale sharks, mingled with sea lions, and watched blue-footed boobies interact. “It was truly a life-changing experience that ignited my curiosity to learn more about the natural world around me,” says Oyaga, “with this newfound passion, I hope to become a conservation biologist and help preserve and protect Earth and her inhabitants.” He continues, “this passion for nature has influenced my love for wildlife; I love to go out into undisturbed environments and capture the creatures that roam the Earth. I hope to share their beauty with my photographs!”
The high school senior says he is most excited about venturing into the unknown saying, “new state, new friends, new environment; it will be an adventure. I am also excited about doing my own research with other students passionate about the environment.”
Oyaga is grateful and excited for what is ahead and says, “I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to my mother and father who have relentlessly supported me every single step of the way. They have worked so hard from the moment they immigrated to the United States to provide me with the best opportunities possible, and I owe my achievements to them. I am also thankful for my brother, Jonathan, who is constantly pushing me and challenging me.”
Another key person for Oyaga is his high school counselor, Ms. Tracy Ishimaru, who he says, “passed the lotus of love to me. It was the support, love, and encouragement that I needed to enter the Posse office.”
Finally Oyaga says, “I thank God every day for this wonderful opportunity, and I am excited to continue my educational journey at Middlebury College.”
Congratulations to Andres Oyaga on this achievement from a proud community!