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Jonathan L. Receives Scholarship to UCSD

June 21, 2021

Jonathan Lim Receives Leonetti/O’Connell Scholarship to Attend UC San Diego


In spring 2021, Rise Kohyang High School senior Jonathan Lim was awarded the Leonetti/O’Connell Scholarship to attend UC San Diego this fall! Jonathan calls the scholarship “absolutely life changing.”

In addition to $20,000 in financial aid, Jonathan will also receive a new laptop, and college and career mentoring and advising, including internship support.

He credits his success with his experience as a student at Bright Star’s Rise Kohyang Middle School and at Rise Kohyang High School.

Watch our interview with Jonathan:

Jonathan’s family chose for him to attend Rise Kohyang Middle School because his older brother had a good experience there. “It really has changed my life,” he says of his time at Rise Kohyang Middle School.

He moved on to Rise Kohyang High School, where he was impressed with how supportive the school was. “At Rise Kohyang High School they have a lot of different opportunities for students to express who they are,” he says. “They really do try their hardest to ensure that each and every student succeeds before they head off to college.”

Inspired by friends who were taking leadership roles at the school, Jonathan became a student government grade level representative and was later elected vice president of student government his senior year.

He also became the editor in chief of the student newspaper, the Trident Times. He wanted to help contribute to a strong school culture with the newspaper, and ensured the content was robust and that the paper was distributed every month, even during distance learning and the Covid pandemic.

Rise Kohyang High School’s guidance and the support of his counselor (“who is amazing!” he says) helped him find his path to college. “Rise Kohyang High School has a New Directions program, which is an hour-long advisory class every week. I was able to learn more about myself, about how the brain works, how to make good decisions, and how I wanted to act,” he explains.

Bright Star’s hallmark “Life Experience Lessons” which take students on overnight field trips outside of Los Angeles and even California, were highlights of Jonathan’s educational experience. “Those trips changed me,” he says. “It was the only time I’ve been out of California. Being able to see different parts of the state and country was really fun and you learn a lot.”

Now that Jonathan has graduated from Rise Kohyang High School, he’ll receive up to six years of individualized support to succeed in college through Bright Star’s Alumni Support and College Success program (ASCS). Through the ASCS program, Bright Star supports all graduates to get to and graduate from higher education through personal counseling, check-ins, financial aid support, help navigating college campuses and finding resources, and more.

As Jonathan says of Bright Star’s robust, kindergarten-through-college support, “It really is amazing to see how much they care about their seniors and their alumni.”