Cox Charities, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications, awarded $77,000 in scholarships to 25 deserving San Diego County students this year, announcing the winners on June 24.

The 25 winners, who are named below, were notified on a video call.

“This year has been unprecedented in so many ways for our graduating high school seniors, and we’re excited to bring them some good news during this challenging time,” said Sam Attisha, senior vice president and region manager for Cox Communications in California. “These 2020 Cox Scholars are so deserving of these scholarships, and Cox and our employees are proud to recognize all of their hard work and accomplishments.”

Statewide, Cox Charities has awarded more than $1.7 million in scholarships to date.

Employee donations, each matched by a company contribution, funded the scholarships.

A Pleasant Surprise

Cox Charities Advisory Board members invited students to participate in video calls to learn about their post-graduation plans and what a scholarship would mean to them. The students were unaware at the start of the calls that they had already been selected as Cox Scholars and were surprised and excited to learn that Cox would be awarding each of them with a scholarship for college.

Students were selected based on their academic success, community service, leadership and commitment to their education.

The 2020 Cox Scholars for the San Diego region are as follows:

Dagmawit Assaye, a graduate of La Jolla High School, will be attending UC Riverside in the fall. She’ll be majoring in public policy with a focus on health and population.

Gicel Abraham graduated from the Preuss School and will be attending UC Davis in the fall. She’ll be pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and hopes to one day work for NASA.

Randy Bach, a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School, will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. He is pursuing a degree in neuroscience and minoring in nutrition and/or urban studies. He hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Angelina Bailey graduated from Mission Hills High School in San Marcos and is bound for UCLA. She intends on majoring in biochemistry and hopes to one day become a pediatric cardiologist.

Kimberly Barrueta, a graduate of Oceanside High School, will be attending Miracosta College in the fall. She will be pursuing a degree in computer science.

Jake Basile graduated from Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista. He intends on pursuing a degree in computer programming and hopes to one day become a software engineer.

Luke Cepurac, a graduate of La Jolla High School, will be attending Harvard University in the fall. He intends on pursing a degree in biological sciences and hopes to have a career in STEM.

Kelly Daugherty graduated from Escondido High School, and will be attending UC San Diego in the fall. She’ll be pursuing a double major in environmental studies and marine biology.

Kevin Do, a graduate of El Camino High School in Oceanside, intends on pursuing a degree in a STEM-related field in hopes to one day become a nurse.

Zundus Farah graduated from the Preuss School and plans to attend UC San Diego in the fall. She plans to major in mathematics with a focus in scientific computation. Zundus hopes to one day become an operations research analyst.

Bryan Garcia, a graduate of Southwest High School in Otay Mesa, will be attending UC San Diego in the fall. He hopes to one day become an environmental engineer and make a difference in a community outside the United States.

Dawwod George graduated from Grossmont High School. He will be attending UC Santa Barbara in the fall, where he plans to major in biology. His goal is to be a cardiologist.

Luiz Gonzalez, a graduate of Monte Vista High School, will be attending San Diego State University in the fall where he plans on majoring in computer engineering.

Anna Hinz graduated from Coronado High School and will be attending Oregon State University in the fall. She’s pursing a degree in mechanical engineering and hopes to one day be a design engineer for a space program.

Way Hlaing, a graduate of E3 Civic High School, will be attending the University of Southern California in the fall. He’s pursuing a major in environmental studies and plans to become an environmental lawyer.

Muhammed Jaafar graduated from Valhalla High School and will be attending San Diego State University in the fall. He plans to major in mechanical engineering and pursue a career domestically or travel to Dubai to work for his family’s company.

Gustavo Candia Jaramillo, a graduate of Hoover High School, will be attending UC San Diego, majoring in international business. Growing up in Tijuana and witnessing the impact that companies can have on the local economy inspired him to pursue this major.

Neil Mashruwala graduated from Grossmont High School. He will attend UC Berkeley where he plans on majoring in electrical engineering and computer science. He hopes to pursue a career as a computer engineer, possibly in the automotive industry.

Luan Nguyen, a graduate of Lincoln High School, will be majoring in public health at UC San Diego as well as minoring in fashion design. She hopes to one day be a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Karla Padilla Leon graduated from Olympian High School in Chula Vista, and will be attending the University of Southern California. She plans on double majoring in global health and neuroscience and is interested in pursuing a career as a pediatrician.

Thavanh Pais, a graduate of Point Loma High School, intends on studying animal science and hopes to one day become a veterinarian.

Alby Penney graduated from Patrick Henry High School and is bound for Carnegie Mellon University in the fall. He is planning on majoring in electrical and computer engineering and hopes to pursue a career in the renewable energy sector.

Mackenzie Tassiello, a graduate of Mater Dei Catholic High School, will be attending UCLA in the fall. She is interested in pursuing a degree in environmental science and hopes to one day research alternative energy sources to produce renewable and cleaner energy.

Kevin Vo graduated from the Preuss School in La Jolla and intends on studying engineering in the fall in hopes to one day have a career in aerospace engineering.

Maya Wesson, a graduate of the San Diego High School of SCITECH will be attending Langston University in the fall where she plans on pursuing a major in biology with the goal of becoming a doctor.