Meet our 2019 Flinn Scholars
Three students attending schools within the Tempe Union High School District were chosen as 2019 Flinn scholars, a prestigious honor that covers the college experience at any in-state university.
The Flinn Scholarship, valued at more than $120,000, covers tuition, fees, housing, and meals at one of Arizona’s public universities—plus study abroad.
Jason Bautista Pejay, a Tempe High School senior, was selected as a 2019 Flinn Scholar. He credits the faculty and staff at Tempe High for helping him succeed as a Buffalo.
“Whether it was teaching me meaningful life lessons through literature, helping me develop a work ethic (or else), or putting up with my shenanigans during my later years in high school, I truly appreciate every single teacher who has had the passion to make sure that I, and the rest of Tempe High School, receive the education that everyone deserves,” he said.
Pejay plans on studying Asian Languages with an emphasis on Chinese at Arizona State University. The future Sun Devil has aspirations to teach Foreign Language around the world.
“To me, being a Flinn Scholar is a great pay off to the journey I started years ago on the path to higher education and a great stepping stone for the future I am working towards,” he said.
The honor means even more to his family, who have supported him from the beginning.
“For my family, being a Flinn Scholar is the sign that their son’s hard work in school paid off and, more importantly, that he is on his way to live the better life they could not have,” he said. “They now have a role model story to tell to their friends’ kids and a son who has made them proud.”
Emma Mason, a Mountain Pointe senior, was selected as a 2019 Flinn Scholar.
She plans to study Public Health at the University of Arizona, while also considering a double major in Neuroscience. The future Wildcat plans to pursue a career as an OB/GYN “who makes a difference in the lives of her patients,” she said.
She said her Mountain Pointe family has been supportive of her throughout the entire Flinn process.
“They truly gave me the confidence and support I needed to succeed, and I would love to tell them how grateful I am for everything they have done for me,” she said. “I would like to give a special thank you to my guidance counselor Mrs. Cassutt for being one of my biggest supporters since my freshman year.”
Mason said she is grateful for the opportunity of joining the Flinn Foundation community, a sign her hard work as a member of the Pride has paid off.
“Being a Flinn Scholar means more to me and my family than I could ever fully express with words,” she said. “I have worked so hard to get here, and it is incredibly humbling to find a foundation of such amazing people who believe in me enough to invite me into their wonderful, supportive community.”
Amanda Abdelsamad, a senior at Corona del Sol, was selected as a 2019 Flinn Scholar. She plans to attend Arizona State University, where she will pursue a double major in Biological Sciences and Anthropology. The future Sun Devil would like to be a cardiovascular surgeon at a hospital.
“I would like to thank all my teachers and counselors deeply for all their support and believing in me as I try to achieve my wild and crazy dreams,” she said.
For Abdelsamad, this honor is a tribute to her family’s dedication to her education.
“My parents came to the United States to live the American dream and give me the education they never had, so receiving the Flinn is not only a win for me, but it shows them that they did it, they’re living the American dream,” she said.
For 2019, 23 students were offered the scholarship, representing 22 schools around the state. The scholars will learn from top faculty, business leaders, and civic innovators, and join a vibrant, eclectic community, including a powerful alumni network.
To learn more about the Flinn Foundation, visit: https://flinn.org/