Simon Foundation STEM Scholar Recipients Announced

Orange, CA – November 21, 2016 - In partnership with Chapman University and the Simon Foundation, four Orange High School students who are planning to major in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) field are selected each year to receive a full scholarship to Chapman University. Orange Unified School District is proud to announce this year’s class of 2018 Simon Foundation STEM Scholar recipients: Chelsey Cortes, Gavin McCullough, An Ngo, and Fabian Valdez.

Students selected as Simon Scholars are afforded the opportunity to visit a college campus, attend leadership camps, and receive a laptop computer to enhance their studies in the STEM field of their choosing. They also have the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to Chapman University or a $16,000 annual scholarship to attend the university of their choice to assist in their pursuit of a STEM-focused degree.

“Science education has become a top priority at Chapman University. Through the Simon STEM Scholar program, we’re able to tap into the talent, enthusiasm and drive of students at Orange High School and help them build a foundation for a lifetime of inquiry and discovery in STEM fields,” stated Chapman University President Daniele Struppa, Ph.D. “It is our sincere hope that Simon STEM Scholars take what they’ve learned in the program and use their gifts to pursue solutions for problems facing our world, and make a positive change in our community, and in communities across the globe.”

Students start the application process during their tenth-grade year. Applications are evaluated by faculty of the Chapman University Schmid College of Science and Technology, representatives from the Simon Family Scholar Foundation, and Orange High School administration. The selection process is not only based on grade point average and desire to pursue a career in the STEM discipline, but also on a rigorous and challenging interview in front of a panel of members from all three organizations.

“This partnership with Chapman University and the Simon Foundation provides an opportunity not only to change our students’ lives, it also changes the lives of their family,” added Orange High School Principal Dennis McCuistion.


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.