Meet the Scholars

Since 2005, Scholars from across the United States and Africa have raised awareness and mobilized action in their communities and beyond. As Bezos Scholars, students and educators have inspired change on issues such as mental health awareness and advocacy, civic engagement, STEM education, environmental justice, refugee and immigrant rights, and much more.

2014 Bezos Scholars

Audrey Huynh & James Scott
Myers Park High School, NC

Christopher Kim & Clint Gima
Maui High School, HI

Edward Antonio & Eric Ferencz
Stuyvesant High School, NY

Kennedy Jefferson & Carl Woodward
Lake Area New Tech Early College High School, LA

Leila Abdelrahman & Marcia Ferguson
Coral Reef Senior High School, FL

Pablo Haake & Michael Anthony Trujillo
Davenport Central High School, IA

Paulina Torres & Sonia Gonzales
Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy, IL

Raymond Pryor IV & Karen McChesney
East High School, CO

Valeria Schmidt & Lori Roberts
Montrose High School, CO

Victor Ariyo & Susan Reutter
Academy Park High School, PA

Yash Kamath & Michael J. Boykins
Wichita East High School, KS

Franklyn Odhiambo, Samuel Opoku-Agyemang & Michael Gyampo
African Leadership Academy

Audrey Huynh
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Myers Park High School / Charlotte, NC
There is never a “right” time to start making a difference, the time is now, go out and do it.
Audrey is currently pursuing a degree in Public Policy and International Relations at Stanford University, intending to graduate in 2019. She completed an internship at the Stanford Women’s Community Center, and was chose as the Charlotte Bobcats’ Community Hero in 2013. She also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Myers Park Hoofprint Newspaper which won first place in the American Scholastic Press Association Competition in 2015. In addition to her passion for dance, Audrey is interested in journalism, debate, and political advocacy especially in regards to gender equality, human rights, and international public health.
Photo of Student Scholar Audrey Huynh
Photo of Educator Scholar James Scott
James Scott
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Myers Park High School / Charlotte, NC
Christopher Kim
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Maui High School / Kahului, HI
Everyone has a compelling story that demands to be told.
Christopher is expected to graduate from Stanford University in 2019, with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. Christopher has spent time as a Computer Science intern with Algoritics LLC, and was elected as a 2014 United States Senate Youth Program Delegate. In 2014, he placed 3rd in Physics and Astronomy at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In addition, Christopher enjoys fantasy sports and marathons (on Netflix).
Photo of Student Scholar Christopher Kim
Photo of Educator Scholar Clint Gima
Clint Gima
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Maui High School / Kahului, HI
Edward Antonio
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Stuyvesant High School / Brooklyn, NY
Edward is majoring in Urban Studies at Yale University, expected to graduate in 2019. He is passionate about cooking, and education, and is interested in city development. Edward loves to play the trumpet, participating in the highest honors Jazz Band at Stuyvesant High School. In addition, he received the Citizenship Award from the Stuyvesant Black Alumni Association.
Photo of Student Scholar Edward Antonio
Photo of Educator Scholar Eric Ferencz
Eric Ferencz
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Stuyvesant High School / Brooklyn, NY
Kennedy Jefferson
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Lake Area New Tech Early College High School / New Orleans, LA
Kennedy is currently studying at Loyola University.
Photo of Student Scholar Kennedy Jefferson
Photo of Educator Scholar Carl Woodward
Carl Woodward
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Lake Area New Tech Early College High School / New Orleans, LA
Leila Abdelrahman
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Coral Reef Senior High School / Miami, FL
On track to finish her Chemical Engineering major at Stanford University in 2019, Leila is passionate about expanding to field of STEM to be more inclusive to everybody, as well as learning in general. In addition, she is a graduate of the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program, and knows four languages. Leila is also a Coca Cola Scholar, and was a TedX Youth at Miami Speaker. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages ( she is currently speaks German, Arabnic, English, and Spanish!) and running long distances.
Photo of Student Scholar Leila Abdelrahman
Photo of Educator Scholar Marcia Ferguson
Marcia Ferguson
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Coral Reef Senior High School / Miami, FL
Pablo Haake
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Davenport Central High School / Davenport, IA
Every time I face a situation in which I feel uncomfortable doing what I know I should do, I remember my time in Aspen.
Pablo is majoring in Urban Studies and Design at Stanford University, expected to graduate in 2019. He participates in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, ranging from salsa dancing to ultimate Frisbee to community organization. Some of his favorite memories from Aspen include hula-hooping on top of the mountain, and sunny morning walks to the Aspen Institute campus. Pablo is a man of many talents, but some of his favorite past-times include salsa dancing, cooking, ultimate frisbee, limbo, and wilderness exploration!
Photo of Student Scholar Pablo Haake
Photo of Educator Scholar Michael Anthony Trujillo
Michael Anthony Trujillo
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Davenport Central High School / Davenport, IA
Paulina Torres
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy / Chicago, IL
I’m grateful to have been part of such a dedicated cohort. I’m continuously inspired by their big hearts and passionate souls!
Attending the University of Chicago to study Public Policy as well as Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, Paulina intends to graduate in 2019. Paulina was awarded a Questbridge National Collage Match Scholarship and was the Salutatorian of the Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy in 2015. Paulina enjoys watching Netflix, drinking coffee, and listening to Hip-Hop music.
Photo of Student Scholar Paulina Torres
Photo of Educator Scholar Sonia Gonzales
Sonia Gonzales
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Rowe Clark Math and Science Academy / Chicago, IL
Put passion into action, and discuss big ideas often.
Sonia first joined the BSP family in 2006 as a Student Scholar, before pursuing a degree in Education from the University of Chicago. She then came back to BSP in 2014 as an Educator Scholar, coming full circle with the program!
Raymond Pryor IV
STUDENT SCHOLAR / East High School / Denver, CO
Raymond is currently working on his Public Policy major at Duke University. Raymond is both a Robertson Scholar and a Ron Brown Scholar.
Photo of Student Scholar Raymond Pryor IV
Photo of Educator Scholar Karen McChesney
Karen McChesney
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / East High School / Denver, CO
Karen earned her B.A. in Journalism and Speech Communications from Marquette University. Her work as an educator earned her the Putting Students First Award and Empowering Students Award. She worked in journalism and public advocacy prior to transitioning into teaching and working with struggling high school students. For Karen, getting to listen to and learn from the Scholar students was the most humbling, mesmerizing, challenging, awesome part of her time in Aspen.
Valeria Schmidt
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Montrose High School / Montrose, CO
BSP gives me courage to share with others experiences that change me permanently and that continue to motivate me today.
Valeria currently attends Princeton University, studying Chemistry, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Education. She has earned a Questbridge scholarship and won the Outstanding Senior Award from her high school. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she describes herself as “very crafty,” and enjoys knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and ceramics, among other forms of art.
Photo of Student Scholar Valeria Schmidt
Photo of Educator Scholar Lori Roberts
Lori Roberts
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Montrose High School / Montrose, CO
I learned how to work within my personality, talent, and strength sets. Thanks to the foundation, I know what those strengths are.
Lori earned her B.A. in English from the University of Northern Colorado, as well as her Library Media Certification from Montana State University. She continued her academic pursuits at Lesley University where she received her Masters of Education in Technology. Her work as an educator earned her the Spirit of the Bear Award from Northridge High School. She shares that the foundation helped her realize her own personality, talent, and strength sets.
Victor Ariyo
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Academy Park High School / Folcroft, PA
To make it in life, it takes hard work and a little serendipity.
Following his passions at Pennsylvania State University, Victor is studying Biomedical Engineering. Before attending as an undergraduate, Victor participated in Penn. State’s Summer Bridge Program, and is a Millennium, Schreyer, and Leonard Engineering Scholar. Outside of his education, Victor enjoys producing music and rapping. One of his favorite BSP memories was being able to meet Hilary Clinton in Aspen!
Photo of Student Scholar Victor Ariyo
Photo of Educator Scholar Susan Reutter
Susan Reutter
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Academy Park High School / Folcroft, PA
Susan pursued her undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania State University, graduating with a B.S. in Secondary Education- Math with a minor in Spanish. She then attended West Chester University for her graduate studies, receiving her Masters in Education in Professional and Secondary Education. She recalls the Resume values vs Eulogy values discussion with David Brooks as one of the most formative conversations from her time in Aspen.
Yash Kamath
STUDENT SCHOLAR / Wichita East High School / Wichita, KS
My cohort became so close in such a short period of time and I gained insight into the fantastic lives of my fellow scholars.
Yash is expected to graduate the University of Southern California in 2019 with an education in International Relations and Economics. Yash is a Trustee Scholar at USC, as well as a Kansas Governor’s Scholar. He is also a champion debater, winning the 2015 Lincoln Douglas Debate Kansas State tournament, and going on to become the 5th ranked policy debater at 2015 National Tournament. In addition, he enjoys ping pong, collecting Mexican Coke bottles, and sarcasm.
Photo of Student Scholar Yash Kamath
Photo of Educator Scholar Michael J. Boykins
Michael J. Boykins
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / Wichita East High School / Wichita, KS
I echo the idea of " two seconds of extreme courage" with my students, not as a reward for their hard work, but as an investment where faculty want to invest our time, knowledge, and resources to ensure their mental, social, and academic success.
Michael attended Newman University, where he received his B.S. in Secondary Education and History. He then attended Wichita State University where he earned his Masters in Education in School Counseling. He shares that BSP’s concept of “two seconds of insane courage is all it takes” has stuck with him throughout his teaching career, and is a lesson he passes on to his own students.
Franklyn Odhiambo
STUDENT SCHOLAR / African Leadership Academy / Migori, Kenya
Franklin currently attends the University of California at Berkley, expecting to graduate in 2019.
Photo of Student Scholar Franklyn Odhiambo
Samuel Opoku-Agyemang
STUDENT SCHOLAR / African Leadership Academy / Kumasi, Ghana
Samuel studies Computer Science at Cornell University, expected to finish his major in 2019. Aside from his academic interests, Samuel enjoys singing and cooking.
Photo of Student Scholar Samuel Opoku-Agyemang
Photo of Educator Scholar Michael Gyampo
Michael Gyampo
EDUCATOR SCHOLAR / African Leadership Academy / Migori, Kenya