PALMDALE – Divonte Williams — a 2021 Quartz Hill High School graduate who successfully balanced academics, soccer, choir, and volunteer work — was recently awarded the NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council’s 2021 Thomas W. Finch Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is available to sons and daughters of Armstrong employees and offers $2,000 per year for up to four years, contingent on full-time enrollment and a 3.0 GPA.
“The scholarship was extremely completive,” said Randy Thompson, scholarship committee chairman. “Through a blind evaluation process, Divonte Williams was the scholarship board’s unanimous selectee. We are pleased to award the scholarship to such an incredibly dedicated student, and we wish him the best in his educational endeavors.”
Divonte is the son of Tameka Williams, who is an accountant at the center, and Damone Williams Sr. Williams’ stepparents are Jerald Herron and LaShondra Williams.
“I am proud of his determination and commitment to accomplishing what he sets his mind to, including academics and sports,” Tameka Williams said. “He doesn’t give up. He naturally has the drive and determination to accomplish his goals.”
Divonte said his motivation to go to college began with his parents instilling in him the value of education and knowledge. As a kid, one of his hobbies was rock collecting. That interest grew into a career path, which he plans to begin with studying geological sciences this fall at California State University, Northridge. He is looking forward to guidance from his older brother, Damone Williams Jr., who also attends the university.
“I plan to gain hands-on knowledge and experience throughout my college career by taking advantage of all training, opportunities and other programs that become available,” Divonte wrote in his essay. He states that he would love to land a job with NASA, which would give him the opportunity to work with geoscience research teams.
“I want to study theories and hypotheses about the earth’s crust and develop my own hypothesis about what happens in the deeper layers,” he said.
Divonte achieved a 3.14 GPA in his academic studies at Quartz Hill High School. He was captain of the varsity soccer team and was the goalkeeper. He also participated in the Quartz Hill High School Chamber Singers and the school’s Acapella choir. In addition, his community service included volunteering with the Skid Row motorcycle club Feed the Homeless in 2019 and 2020 and with the Popeye Toy Run in 2017-2019.
The Exchange Council scholarships are named for five former NASA Armstrong employees, with honorees selected on a rotating basis.
[Information via news release from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.]