LANCASTER –Edward “Eddy” Banuelos of Lancaster is this year’s recipient of the 2013 Harold W. Walker Memorial Scholarship. He was selected by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Employee Exchange Council Scholarship committee.
Banuelos recently graduated from Desert High School at Edwards Air Force Base, where he was ranked first in his class academically with a 4.32 overall grade point average and was named class valedictorian. He plans to major in physics at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he has been accepted into the Honors Program.
“Not a lot of students get to apply for this, so I feel honored,” Banuelos said. “I’m glad I got it. In the long run, I hope it helps pay off my (student loans).”
Banuelos is the son of NASA Dryden employee Maria Caballero of the flight assurance division in the center’s Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate, and Lionel Banuelos, an electrical engineer at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base.
The scholarship is offered annually to high school seniors who plan to attend either a four-year college or university or a two-year community college. Applicants must be the child of a current Dryden civil service career employee or contractor employee, a Dryden retiree, a deceased Dryden career employee or a detailee from another agency currently stationed at Dryden.
The scholarship provides $2,000 per year for up to four years for attendance at a four-year college or university, or $1,000 per year for up to two years for attendance at a two-year community college.
Banuelos’ academic achievements were not confined to the classroom, as he won a second place award for his research exhibit at the 2012 Kern County Science Fair, received an honorable mention at the 2013 California State Science Fair and was a member of the school’s Mathletes team.
He also excelled in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including playing flute in the DHS band, and running on the school’s track and cross-country teams, serving as team captain of the latter.
Banuelos also was involved in various volunteer efforts, including participating in the Keystone Club leadership program, volunteering at a local homeless shelter and at the Edwards’ Teen Center.
(Information via press release from NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.)