Hometown: Lakewood, California
High School: Lakewood High School
Brittian Foster credits his mother's guidance and basketball for his discipline, leadership ability and perseverance. The first-generation college student served as varsity captain of his high school basketball team as well as president of the Physics Club. Recognized as a Scholar Athlete and a distinguished Merit Scholar with Highest Honors, he served as a math tutor and encouraged other teens to excel academically as a mentor for the Teens in Lakewood Care. He hopes to pursue a career in engineering and to continue to contribute to the community.
Hometown: Kigali, Rwanda
High School: Groupe Scolaire Sainte Bernadette Save
Passionate about science, technology and education, Jean Baptiste Kwizera hopes to establish a world-class STEM institution in his country. The first-generation college student has served as a math and chemistry tutor, participated in math, science and environmental clubs, and received first place in the Rwanda Science Competition in Biology. As a National Community Service participant he surveyed taxes, hygiene and waste treatment in his local community. He also mentored former street kids at Acts4Rwanda, helped build shelters for homeless people, and raised funds to help those affected by the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
High School: Harbor High School
Giselle Martinez wants to mentor and empower young women to pursue careers in science and technology. A Stanford SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honors) Scholar, Martinez also received a 2015 National Center for Women & Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Award. Her academic leadership contributions include serving as a member of the Model United Nations, president of the Random Acts of Kindness Club, and president of the Interact Club. Martinez helped organize campus cleanups, food drives, and the creation of birth kits for women in Tanzania. As a Santa Cruz City Schools marketing student representative, she raised funds for career-focused K-12 programs. She also served as an academic tutor for the Live Oak Resource Center.
Hometown: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
High School: Home schooled
A champion for social justice, equality and the environment, Komal “Komz” Muthyalu wants to raise awareness of LGBT identifications and to spur conversations between communities traditionally at odds. Muthyalu served as a co-founding member, head of operations, and finance officer for Green Hope, a nonprofit youth organization affiliated with the United Nations. She was also a national director for Green the Gene, a global, youth-led organization aimed at developing and encouraging environmentally friendly practices. Along with providing environmental leadership, she has also participated in desert and beach cleanups and planted trees in locations across Dubai, Sharja, Ajman and Abu Dhabi.
Hometown: La Habra, California
High School: Sonora High School
Kristen Sauceda aspires to one day be an English or History professor who inspires the next generation of community and business leaders. Her leadership experience includes serving as president and chairman of the La Habra Youth Committee, where she led meetings, youth activities, and volunteer events. As varsity cheer captain, she headed a 54-member team whose volunteer contributions included 30 hours of performing, cheering and chaperoning at the Special Olympics. Sauceda also served as a history tutor and Impact program leader, and was honored as a 2015 Youth of the Year and 2016 Miss La Habra Queen.
Hometown: Kailua Kona, Hawaii
High School: Makua Lani Christian Academy
Hannah Shimizu aims to become a pediatrician who promotes children’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Her passion for kids grew through volunteer work, including helping with a girls camp, tutoring in a first-grade classroom, and assisting at a children’s hospital. An accomplished athlete, she served as captain of her high school cross-country team, received MVP awards in cross country and soccer, and raised funds for her younger sister to attend soccer camp. She also served as ASB president and as a Student Environmental Ambassador.