Twenty-Four High School Seniors from Los Angeles and New York City Selected as 2013 Milken Scholars

Published 07/25/2017 in Program Updates
Written 07/25/2017

Chosen from hundreds of nominations, the Scholars will be honored at a recognition ceremony and dinner

Chosen from hundreds of nominations, the Scholars will be honored at a recognition ceremony and dinner on Saturday, July 27, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, CA

SANTA MONICA, CA (July 15, 2013) – The Milken Family Foundation (MFF) announces the selection of 24 outstanding high school seniors as 2013 Milken Scholars. These Scholars, 16 from Los Angeles and eight from New York City, were chosen based on their academic performance, community service, leadership and ability to persevere in the face of challenges.  They will be formally honored at a ceremony and dinner in Marina del Rey, CA, on Saturday, July 27, a highlight of the annual Milken Scholars Summit.

Each Scholar will receive a $10,000 scholarship plus opportunities for ongoing mentoring, assistance with internships, opportunities for community service, and access to a wide range of resources for their academic and professional careers. “These remarkable students have already proven they have the capacity to change the world for the better,” notes the program’s director, Gregory Milken. “The Milken Scholars program provides them with the support to develop their potential and become tomorrow’s leaders.”

The 2013 New York City Milken Scholars are:

  • Sabiya Ahamed, The Brooklyn Latin School, will attend Brown University
  • Caroline Chiu, The Chapin School, will attend Columbia University
  • Jupiter El-Asmar, Regis High School, will attend Georgetown University
  • Harley Geffner, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, will attend the University of Pennsylvania
  • Soniya Gurung, William Cullen Bryant High School, will attend Barnard College
  • Jason Mills, Townsend Harris High School, will attend Harvard
  • Roslyn Rivas, Trinity School, will attend Yale
  • Chittampalli Yashaswini, The Bronx High School of Science, will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

View Complete Bios of the eight 2013 New York City Milken Scholars.

The 2013 Los Angeles Milken Scholars are:

  • Devon Bankler-Jukes, Marymount High School, will attend the University of Pennsylvania
  • Sarah Hsu, Glen A. Wilson High School, will attend Brown
  • Isiah Iniguez, Lawndale High School, will attend Brown
  • Blessing Haeeun Jee, Grover Cleveland High School, will attend Harvard
  • Chiyoung Kim, North Hollywood High School’s Gifted Magnet, will attend Harvard
  • Yuen Ting Kelly Lau, Mark Keppel High School, will attend Princeton
  •  Steven Lee, Herbert Hoover High School, will attend Northwestern
  • Hamidah Mahmud,  Granada Hills Charter High School, will attend Harvard
  • Sepora Makabeh, Milken Community High School, will attend Washington University in St. Louis
  • Peter Nguyen, Saugus High School, will attend UC Berkeley
  • Thomas Rivera, Bishop Amat Memorial High School, will attend Pomona College
  • Luzdary Ruelas,  Schurr High School, will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Shirin Salehi, Chaminade College Preparatory High School, will attend Stanford
  • Dale Tager, Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies, will attend Yale
  • Steven Tan, Gabrielino High School, will attend UC Berkeley
  • Pavin Trinh, Gabrielino High School, will attend Stanford 

View Complete Bios of the sixteen 2013 Los Angeles Milken Scholars.

This year’s Scholars’ class from New York City includes national award-winners in physics, chemistry, math, and Latin. They have presided over the student union, conducted genetics research, led championship debate, chess and Mock Trial teams, captained varsity sports, and led a host of school clubs. Individual masteries range from poetry and classical Indian dance to fluency in five languages. Their volunteer contributions vary from founding a national nonprofit to serving on a neighborhood youth court.


The class from Los Angeles includes seven valedictorians, three National Merit Finalists, and the captain of the nation’s championship Academic Decathlon team.  Several have conducted groundbreaking research at the university level. They are state and national award winners in Latin, Speech and Debate, Science Olympiad, National Moot Court, Science Olympiad and writing.  The class includes a Spanish Spelling Bee Champion, a recipient of both the President’s National Educational Excellence and Volunteer Service Awards, the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Los Angeles and state first runner-up, and a two-time National Ballroom Dancing Competition Finalist who appeared on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” 

Throughout their college careers, Milken Scholars are in regular communication with MFF staff, mentors, and with one another.  Every summer, Scholars participate in a three-day annual Summit in Los Angeles, where MFF staff and a range of distinguished speakers provide a forum for the participants to discuss issues crucial to their personal, academic and professional success. The Summit also provides an opportunity for the Scholars to form and renew friendships, reflect on their personal growth and exchange ideas and aspirations. This year’s Summit, themed, “What is Your American Dream,” will be held at Loyola Marymount College from July 25-28, 2013.

Since its founding in 1989 by Lori and Michael Milken, the Milken Scholars program has supported more than 300 Scholars from diverse backgrounds. Many were the first in their families to attend college. Nearly one-third were born outside the United States and three-quarters have parents originating from more than 50 countries.

Milken Scholars are selected in their senior year of high school through a rigorous nomination, application review and interview process.  Nominations are based on the following criteria:

  • Minimum grade point average of 3.6 (unweighted) or 90% in all academic high school subject areas
  • Minimum composite SAT I Reasoning score of 1850 with results submitted for Critical Reading, Math, and Writing, or a minimum ACT score of 28
  • Active participation in community service activities
  • A record of leadership
  • Financial or other obstacles
  • Admission to a four-year college or university prior to final selection
  • United States Citizenship or Permanent Residency

“The Milken Scholars program is synonymous with opportunity, not only to embark upon your wildest dreams but also the freedom from fear, restriction or hindrance of any kind,” shared 1999 Milken Scholar Alexandra Lutoshkina. “The program brings together a group of individuals that make you feel right at home, whether you want to become a nuclear physicist or an aid worker. Under the Milken Family umbrella, Scholars receive a level of love, support and guidance that is beyond measure.  In return, the Milken Scholars dedicate their lives to serving others by becoming leaders in the communities and changing the world around them.”


2013 Scholars Nominated

2013 Scholars Nominated