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UC Berkeley student receives Truman Scholarship, is chosen from among 599 candidates
07 Apr 2000

By Media Relations

BERKELEY -- Celina Yong, a junior at University of California, Berkeley, is the recipient of a prestigious Truman Scholarship. The award is based on leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of "making a difference."

Yong, who is from Rohnert Park, Calif., is one of 61 Truman Scholars. She was selected from among 599 candidates nominated by 311 colleges and universities across the country. Each scholarship provides $30,000 - $3,000 for the student's senior year and $27,000 for two or three years of graduate study.

A molecular environmental biology major, Yong plans to pursue medical and Master's of Public Health degrees. She hopes to work as a physician and, eventually, in global public health care policy. Yong's experience includes working in medial clinics in Quito, Ecuador, volunteering at San Francisco General Hospital's emergency room, interning in health care policy at The White House, and researching lung proteins with Dr. Jacob Bastacky at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

While at UC Berkeley, Yong has maintained a 3.971 grade point average while involved in several leadership and public service activities. In 1998, she founded Promise America, a program that trains student volunteers to visit elementary schools, encouraging disadvantaged youth to set and achieve their goals. Yong is now national director of the program, which she has expanded to 22 states. Among other activities, she is co-editor-in-chief of Issues Berkeley Medical Journal and a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee. Yong is also an accomplished ballet dancer and poet.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd U.S. President. There have been 2,003 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.

The 2000 Truman Scholarship recipients will assemble May 21 for a week-long leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 28.


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