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Posted on February 18, 2014

VIDEO: Cal Student Evy Peng Reflects on Impact of Winning Bright Minds Scholarship

By David Kligman

Editor’s Note: Currents recently caught up with Evy Peng, a PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship program winner from 2013. The 18-year-old college freshman discusses how she and her family moved from China to the United States six years ago and why each week she goes back to San Francisco’s Abraham Lincoln High School, her alma mater, to help students prepare for college exams. Peng learned she had won a Bright Minds Scholarship at a San Francisco Giants game where she worked part-time selling concessions.

To apply for a 2014 Bright Minds Scholarship, click here. The application deadline is Feb. 28.

Student: Evy Peng

Hometown: San Francisco

My name is Evy Peng. I’m a Bright Minds Scholarship winner and I’m a freshman at UC Berkeley.

On learning about the scholarship

I got an email from my youth organization sending out scholarship opportunities.

A surprise announcement at home plate

Someone from PG&E called me and then invited me and my family to a Giants game. They called me on to the field at the beginning of the game and then the president of PG&E (Chris Johns) just presented me with a huge check. I didn’t know what was going on. It was totally a surprise for me. I never imagined that I could win this scholarship.

Evy Peng and her family got a big surprise at a Giants game in June as they were told that the San Francisco student had won a Bright Minds Scholarship from PG&E. (Currents Archive Photo.)

It took a while for the news to sink in

After a half an hour I was still not sure what was going on and I tried to use water to cool down my face. My face was red at that time I think because I was nervous, excited. It just threw my mind off.

What it meant to be named a Bright Minds winner

Winning the scholarship means a lot to me. I don’t need to worry about my education expenses right now and I can focus on my academics and I can do what I want right now. Cal was my dream. I call it a dream because it’s expensive to go to a UC.

What the scholarship covers

It pays for tuition, it pays for my dorm, it pays for my food and I even requested a computer.

Why her family moved to the United States

I grew up in a small city in China. I didn’t get to decide to come here but my parents decided to bring us here for a better education.

Helping students at her old high school prepare for college

Coming back to Lincoln to help other students is one of my responsibilities, I feel like it. And I feel like I don’t want to stop helping the community. PG&E trusted me and I have their support and I want to trust these students, and I believe that they could go to college too. If I can do it I believe they can do it too.

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