Alysa Basmadzhyan

Sophomore Satenik Ayrapetyan is one of fifteen recipients of the Warren Christopher Scholarship, which grants $20,000 for college.

Opinion editor receives competitive Warren Christopher Scholarship

May 16, 2023

Despite doubts and nerves, sophomore Satenik Ayrapetyan received the news that she is among the 15 Warren Christopher Scholarship recipients receiving $20,000 for college.

“I felt nervous and I definitely didn’t feel like I was going to get it,” said Ayrapetyan, who is the opinion editor of The Pearl Post. “And then I got it and I was just floored.”

Warren Christopher was an American diplomat and lawyer serving under Bill Clinton’s presidency as the 63rd secretary of state. He was a graduate of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and started the scholarship to encourage students to finish their education. 

Out of the 132 applicants for the scholarship, only 15 students in LAUSD received it. The scholarship looks for sophomores who face hardships and are at risk of having their education kept from them. 

“The scholarship application cared about you and cared about how you cared about your community,” said Ayrapetyan, who was notified she was a recipient on May 10. “So looking at past scholarship victors, they’re all like helping kids with cancer and probably curing cancer. But I wrote about how I’m on a newspaper informing students and how I volunteer at the library.”

An awards ceremony will be held at the Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on June 30. Following that will be an all expenses paid camping trip to Temescal Canyon from Aug. 4 to 6, according to Ayrapetyan. 

In the past, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School had only one other student, Ayla Allen, who received the Warren Christopher Scholarship in 2012, according to counselor Martina Torres.

“(Satenik) seemed to meet the qualifications that I think (the) Warren Christopher (committee) was looking for,” said Torres, who nominated Ayrapetyan. “She’s a student who has been successful academically despite many hardships she’s had to face.”

Now that Ayrapetyan has the scholarship, which is paid over four years, many doors have opened for her for college. There is no specific college that she has in mind yet, but she knows what she wants to study as a major.

“It doesn’t matter where I go to college,” Ayrapetyan said. “It doesn’t matter if I go to Pierce or if I go to Harvard, I still get $20,000 no matter what. Just any decent or better law school honestly.”

Many high school students struggle financially, so scholarships provide that cushion that helps students succeed. But it can be difficult to acquire one, especially competitive ones such as the Warren Christopher Scholarship.

“If it matches, go for it,” Ayrapetyan said. “Scholarships are really varied. It’s hard to get them and sometimes it’s random. So just apply to whatever ones you match with.”

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