LOWELL — Two hard-working, community-minded students from the Lowell High School Class of 2022 have been awarded full-ride scholarships to UMass Lowell.
The scholarships are awarded in memory of the late US Sen. Paul Tsongas, a Lowell native and champion of the city, who also served as a trustee at UMass Lowell. Recipients of this prestigious scholarship receive free tuition, fees, a standard room and a meal plan for all four years of college.
This year’s recipients are Alejandro Bonilla and Katherine Tamayo.
A Lowell native, Bonilla is the only child to mother Jeidy Vallejo, who was born in Colombia. He attended Morey Elementary School and Daley Middle School. He credits the city of Lowell for shaping him into the person he is today.
Bonillais a four-year member of Lowell High School’s Latin Lyceum, taking the most challenging courses, including Advanced Placement US History, English Literature and Composition, Calculus BC and Advanced Latin. Bonilla is also a four-year band member and drum major, playing the clarinet and saxophone. He is also a member of the Tenacity Challenge team.
Bonillahas dedicated himself to numerous community service and school-based projects, including an internship with state Rep. Vanna Howard, D-Lowell, serving as a member of the Hispanic Student Success Taskforce, coaching the Knowledge Bowl team and mentoring in the Gardening Club at the Daley.
Bonilla will UMass Lowell for music attendee studies and plans to become a music teacher in the future. He thanks his mom, teachers, Lowell High School and the Lowell community for supporting him along the way.
Katherine Tamayo, born in Lowell, is the daughter of Ivan Tamayo and sister to Elizabeth and Michael Tamayo. Her father was born in Colombia and her mother in Cambodia, and she proudly embraces these two cultures. She attended Greenhalge Elementary School and the Robinson Middle School.
Tamayo has immersed herself in several challenging programs at Lowell High, including Middlesex Community College Early College dual enrollment courses English Composition, General Biology, Psychology, Sociology and summer seminar; the LHS Engineering Pathway for two years; and the After Dark Information Technology Program at Greater Lowell Technical High School for two years.
Tamayo is a four-year member of the Middlesex Community College TRiO Math/Science Upward Bound Program, where she was selected for UMass Lowell’s plastics engineering internship, in partnership with Project Learn, to research plastics and the environment. She also dedicated herself as a volunteer for Acre Family Childcare and the Wish Project.
Tamayo will attend UMass Lowell for computer science with a future interest in robotics. She thanks her dad and friends for encouraging her.