Atlantic High School’s Lorena Benitez ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholar

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Lorena Benitez, a senior at Atlantic Community High School, was one of four students to be named a 2013 ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholar by the Council of the Great City Schools. Students were selected from several hundred applicants for their academic performance, leadership qualities and community involvement. Benitez will receive $5,000 to support her plans to pursue a degree in biology at Harvard University.

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The scholarship program was created by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., the first African American to walk in space, and the ExxonMobil Foundation to help underrepresented students pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and increase diversity in the STEM workforce. The awards are given annually to two African-American and two Hispanic seniors from high schools in the 67 urban school districts represented by CGCS. “We are extremely proud of the winners of this highly competitive scholarship program,” said Michael Casserly, executive director, Council of the Great City Schools. “These young men and women will have an opportunity to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow thanks to the generous support of ExxonMobil and the encouragement of Dr. Harris.” “These scholarships are one way of empowering promising youth for math and science achievement both inside and outside the classroom,” said Dr. Harris. “I am proud to support the development of innovative young minds and honor these students as they create a brighter future for themselves and our nation.” Visit www.cgcs.org and www.theharrisfoundation.org.