DOWNEY -- Aaron M. Gutierrez from Calvary Chapel Christian High School in Downey has been named a President’s Scholar with the incoming freshmen class at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and as such he has been awarded a full, four-year scholarship from the campus worth $58,000.
The CSULB President’s Scholars Program was created in 1995 in an effort to bring valedictorians and national scholars from California high schools to CSULB. It is recognized as the premier program of its kind in the state, and more than 1,100 students from 42 of California’s 58 counties have been chosen for the program since its inception.
The son of Evelina and Art Gutierrez of Montebello, Aaron was a valedictorian in this year’s graduating class at Calvary Chapel Christian High.
“The President’s Scholars Program at Cal State Long Beach attracts some of the brightest and most academically talented high school graduates in California,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “The program is extremely competitive. Each year, we receive hundreds of applications for these scholarships, but only 25 students are selected to be part of this incoming group of scholastically outstanding individuals.”
Gutierrez was selected for the scholarship/program from an applicant pool of more than 800 students statewide. At CSULB, he is planning to major in either mechanical or electrical engineering.
At Calvary Chapel High, Gutierrez was a four-year participant in both cross country and track and field, serving as captain for the cross country team during his junior and senior seasons. He also won multiple Scholar Athlete awards and “Mighty in Spirit” awards for both sports.
He was part of the Associate Student Body leadership all four years, including serving as vice president this past year; he was a Principal’s Award winner every semester while at the school; and he received multiple departmental awards each semester.
Gutierrez also was active in the school’s music department as a member of the Honor Choir and participant in its musical productions. He also volunteered at the school’s summer day camp.
Off campus, Gutierrez is very active with his church. He served as a junior teacher for the Pioneer Clubs (a church group club setting for young children from 2 years old to sixth-graders) for six years, serving in the ministry as positive mentor and role model.
He also took part in several church community efforts, including its Resource Information Outreach (in conjunction with the Department of Family and Children Services), back-to-school backpack distribution for the homeless in the community, Solid Ground Recovery for those recovering from drug and/or alcohol abuse, and Operation Toasty Christmas—a coat, jacket and blanket distribution to the homeless in the community.
As a President’s Scholar, Gutierrez will attend CSULB on a full scholarship, which covers tuition, student fees, an annual book stipend and paid housing in the campus residence halls for four years. In addition, scholars receive priority registration, personalized advising, guaranteed acceptance to the University Honors Program and the opportunity for international study abroad housing and more.
To be eligible for the CSULB President ‘s Scholars Program, students must be a senior class valedictorian, ranked No. 1 at their high school, a National Merit finalist or semi-finalist, a National Achievement Scholar or a National Hispanic Recognition Scholar.
“These academically talented students add a great deal to the stature of the university through their academic pursuits in research, academic competitions and other activities,” explained Valerie Bordeaux, director of the CSULB President’s Scholars Program. “They also perform thousands of hours of community service and are outstanding representatives of the university wherever they go.”
CSULB is a large, comprehensive urban university with more than 36,500 students, making it one of the largest campuses in California.