Celina Yong, a junior at UC Berkeley, is the recipient of a prestigious Truman Scholarship. The award is based on leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of “making a difference.”
Yong, who is from Rohnert Park, is one of 61 Truman Scholars. She was selected from among 599 candidates nominated by 311 colleges and universities across the country. Each scholarship provides $30,000: $3,000 for the student’s senior year and $27,000 for two or three years of graduate study.
A molecular environmental biology major, Yong plans to pursue medical and Master’s of Public Health degrees. She hopes to work as a physician and, eventually, in global public health care policy.
While at UC Berkeley, Yong has maintained a 3.971 grade point average while involved in several leadership and public service activities. In 1998, she founded Promise America, a program that trains student volunteers to visit elementary schools, encouraging disadvantaged youth to set and achieve their goals. Yong is now national director of the program, which she has expanded to 22 states.
Yong is also an accomplished ballet dancer and poet.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd U.S. president. There have been 2,003 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.