• Urban Educator logo

Four Urban Students Win CGCS-Bernard Harris Scholarships in Math and Science

  • Four graduating high school seniors have been selected by the Council of the Great City Schools to receive the 2021 CGCS-Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship. The students were chosen from several hundred applicants in big-city school districts across the nation for their academic performance, leadership qualities and community involvement.

    Now in its third year, the scholarship was created by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space, to encourage and assist promising students of diverse backgrounds who plan to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies after high school. 

    The awards were given to two African-American and two Hispanic seniors from high schools in four of the 75 urban school districts represented by the Council. 

    “These scholarships are a wonderful way to promote academic excellence in math and science and foster the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Dr. Harris. “The achievements and aspirations of these young men and women are truly inspirational and it is my hope that the scholarships they receive will propel them to a future of fulfilling their dreams.” 

    Each scholar will receive $5,000 for continued education in a STEM-related field. This year’s award winners are:

    • Saul Balcarcel-Salazar, John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Miami-Dade County Public Schools;
    • Destiny Caldwell, Scotlandville Magnet High School, East Baton Rouge Parish School System;
    • Natalie Martinez, Godinez Fundamental High School, Santa Ana Unified School District; and
    • Emini Offutt, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School, Metro Nashville Public Schools 

    In the fall, Balcarcel-Salazar will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and major in physics. Caldwell will study mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Martinez plans to study mathematics at the University of California, Irvine and Offutt will pursue a degree in computer science at Vanderbilt University.

    Administration of the scholarship program, including the application process, pre-selection and presentation of awards, is provided by the Council. Dr. Harris makes the final selection of recipients.