The Elize Aunahn Memorial Brainfuse Scholarship is a highly selective scholarship for outstanding students from low-income households. Scholarship awards are issued to high school and college students seeking to attend technical training programs, community colleges, or four-year bachelor’s programs.
Elize Aunahn, Vice President of Operations and Academics with Brainfuse Online Tutoring for approximately twenty years, passed away on June 16, 2020. To honor her legacy and commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for deserving students, Brainfuse has established a scholarship fund in her name. The award is designed for low-income students who otherwise might be missed by traditional scholarship criteria. Qualifying candidates must have (a) a tireless work ethic as demonstrated through school, employment, volunteer contributions, and extracurricular activities; (b) a successful academic record; (c) strong leadership ability (as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular activities, and other contributions); (d) exceptional personal success skills (emotional maturity, motivation, and perseverance); and (e) need for financial assistance.
The Elize Aunahn Memorial Brainfuse Scholarship was established to award scholarships to deserving students, with the intent of helping them to realize their maximum potential. In this third year of the scholarship program, Brainfuse again received an overwhelming number of applications for extremely qualified, deserving students. To assist as many students as possible, Brainfuse has selected three scholarship winners and two additional Brainfuse Scholarship Finalists. The following is a profile of the three winners of the 2023 Elize Aunahn Memorial Brainfuse Scholarship awards:
First Recipient Pedro de la Torre
The first-prize recipient of the Brainfuse Elize Aunahn Memorial Scholarship, Pedro de la Torre, represents an uncommon combination of determination, perseverance, academic achievement, leadership ability, volunteer contributions, and personal success. A product of a single-parent low-income family, Mr. de la Torre will be the first member of his family to attend university. Despite growing up in difficult financial circumstances, he has achieved tremendous academic success, while participating in numerous extracurricular activities. Our first-place winner, Mr. de la Torre, maintains a 4.53 grade point average, while taking numerous Advanced Placement courses. Participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, he is a member of the Latino Empowerment in Action Club, Book Club, Garden Club, Water Polo Team, and Swim Team, and launched a Teen Club at his neighborhood library. Mr. de la Torre conducts biomedical research at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, in Los Angeles, prepares meals for students with disabilities, tutors students in Mathematics, Science, English, and Spanish, and developed his own business selling plants from his grandmother’s garden. He will attend Stanford University, where he plans to study Human Biology and pursue his goal of becoming a surgeon.
Second Recipient Autumn Medina
Autumn Medina, the second winner of the Brainfuse Elize Aunahn Memorial Scholarship, has achieved remarkable success despite facing countless obstacles. Ms. Medina was raised in a low-income family and will be a first-generation college student. Our second scholarship winner is a standout student at Pomona High School, in the Jefferson County Public School District, in Colorado. Ms. Medina also participates in a career and vocational program through Warren Tech, where she has specialized in business management and culinary arts. As President of the Warren Tech Gear Store, she manages all aspects of business operations including marketing, human resources, operations, and management. This highly impressive candidate will attend the University of Denver, in Colorado, beginning this Fall.
Third Recipient Jason Ponciano
Our third scholarship recipient, Jason Ponciano, grew up without the benefit of parental guidance. As a low-income student, Jason works hard to meet his expenses by running his own lawn care business. A top student in the Upward Bound Math-Science program at Carl Sandburg College, he has achieved a strong grade point average while taking multiple Advanced Placement courses. Mr. Ponciano successfully balances a rigorous academic courseload while participating in sports, volunteer work, advanced research in Physics, and participation in vocational programs. This Fall, Mr. Ponciano will commence studies at The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Brainfuse, one of the nation’s leading online tutoring providers, has been serving a diversified client base of libraries, school districts, and colleges/universities for more than 20 years. After more than two decades and millions of tutoring sessions, Brainfuse is one of the most experienced tutoring companies in the nation. Brainfuse serves hundreds of institutions throughout the country including the New York Public Library, the California State Library, Maricopa Community Colleges, West Virginia Community & Technical College System, the Houston Public Library, and North America’s largest homework help program through the Chicago Public Library. For more information regarding the services of Brainfuse, please contact Brainfuse at [email protected].