Shree Billa (’23) and Tony Wang (’23) awarded Juanita Haugen Scholarship


Preston Elliott

Tony Wang (’23), pictured right, and Shree Billa (’23), pictured left, are the winners of the 2023 Juanita Haugen Scholarship, a prestigious local scholarship given to PUSD seniors.

Preston Elliott, Staff Writer

The Juanita Haugen Scholarship is a local scholarship program in Pleasanton that grants students an amount of $1,000 who have shown outstanding gratitude and community service to the city. This award is provided to them by the Community of Character Collaborative.

What I do know about Juanita Haugen is that she was an important school board member who passed away in 2007 and the city of Pleasanton Community of Character set up a scholarship in her honor. She was very invested in the education side of things,” said recipient Shree Billa (’23).

The scholarship is awarded to PUSD students. Two Amador students, Shree Billa (’23) and Tony Wang (‘23) won the scholarship.

“It really means a lot to have this award because it really recognizes the hard work I’ve put in these years to help the community. It really shows that people believe in me and what I’m doing. It just really feels good to be rewarded in this way and to see that people are recognizing the impacts that high schoolers can make on their communities,” said Wang.

To achieve this scholarship, Wang has put in hours of work toward his academics and extracurriculars. Through STEM programs and his own organization (Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair Student Leadership Board), he represents students across 20 different schools. 

“On the application, you just put things you are involved in. That’s pretty much it. I didn’t really have an interview or anything so I’d say it was a relatively simple scholarship application so it was pretty fast and effective,” said Wang.

Billa expressed her way of contributing to the community by volunteering at Tri-Valley Haven which is a shelter for abused women and children. As a foster child, Billa is entirely on her own when it comes to paying for college. 

“This scholarship makes me feel represented; I think we do live in a pretty privileged community and it makes me feel like my voice is being heard and it helps me navigate my future plans,” said Billa.