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College Station senior student receives prestigious Amazon scholarship, summer internship

Cynthia Zhao has received a scholarship includes up to $40,000 to study computer science or engineering, and a paid internship with Amazon the summer after her freshman year.
Posted at 5:54 PM, Apr 22, 2024

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A College Station senior student has received a scholarship includes up to $40,000 to study computer science or engineering, and a paid internship with Amazon the summer after her freshman year.

  • Cynthia Zhao is a senior at College Station High School and was surprised with this scholarship in her computer science class. Her teacher and the Amazon team have been planning this surprise for the last three weeks.
  • Zhao is one of 43 students in Texas and 400 students nationwide to receive this scholarship.
  • Zhao says she plans to pursue a career in STEM at Texas A&M University in the fall.

Broadcast Script:

Like many high school seniors, Cynthia Zhao has been applying for scholarships for college.

"I know I applied but I didn't feel like it could be me," Zhao said.

That's how she came across the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship.

"Cynthia, like many seniors, sent me a recommender email from Amazon as well as other various universities that she wanted to apply to, and I filled out the application for her — she's an exceptional student. It was not very hard to write great things about her, and then I sent it off."

About three weeks ago, Amazon reached out to Kimberly Munoz, Cynthia's computer science teacher, saying she won the scholarship — they set out to plan a secret guest speaker event for the class when really, it was to surprise Cynthia.

"They just walked over to me and gave me the box and everyone's just — and I was like, so excited," she said.

It's a $40,000 scholarship to study computer science or engineering, and a paid summer internship with Amazon the summer after her freshman year.

"I already can imagine myself on my next summer, don't go home and go to Seattle for a week — that's like, super exciting."

Cynthia is one of 43 students across Texas, and 400 students nationwide to receive this scholarship. She says this will help her focus on her studies, instead of worrying about finances.

"Financially, for my family, it's a big help — I have a sister and now, with a scholarship, if I can get most of my tuition covered, they can — my family — can focus on hers."