A CHS student receives a $25,000 surprise, from quasi-federal agency 'Fannie Mae'

DAVID F. ASHTON - Cleveland High School senior Peter Za with a ceremonial check symbolizing his $25,000 college scholarship. He was flanked by Cleveland High School College Career Center Volunteer Jennifer Rockwood, and Sallie Mae Vice President Liz Robinson. Peter Za, a 17-year-old senior at Cleveland High School (CHS), told THE BEE he'd had an inkling that the afternoon of November 14 could be different from the many others he'd spent at the Catholic Charities of Oregon's "Homework Club" meeting at the Kateri Park Apartments, in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood.

His afternoon indeed turned out to be life-changing – because, before the day was out, he was awarded a $25,000 "Bridging the Dream" college scholarship, awarded by SLM Corporation, commonly referred to as "Sallie Mae" -- a publicly-traded U.S. corporation that provides student loans and consumer banking services.

In addition to being a leader of that Homework Club, it was revealed that Za is also a CHS international baccalaureate certificate candidate, and has maintained a 4.0 GPA, is on the varsity soccer team, volunteers as a math tutor, and is a leader in the English language learner community.

After receiving the check, Za told the students in his club, "Yesterday, I kind of guessed that this might be happening.

"It's awesome that you're giving me this; I'm really thankful for it," Za beamed. "This is just awesome!"

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