When Samantha Angeles found out that she had won PUC's prestigious Malcolm Maxwell Scholarship, she screamed. "I think I kind of scared the person on the other end of the line," she says. "And then I'm not quite sure what happened, but I was in the kitchen when I found out and then my parents found my phone in the garage."
The Maxwell scholarship, which awards $10,000 in renewable scholarship funds to worthy incoming freshmen, was Samantha's ticket to Pacific Union College. Before learning she had won the award, she was moving forward on plans to attend nearby UC San Diego. But the scholarship was proof to her that God had better plans. "I prayed a lot as to what college I was going to. I think I knew in my heart that God wanted me to be at PUC," she says. "Winning the scholarship means that PUC is the right place for me."
An excellent student with a 3.9 GPA and membership in the National Honor Society, Samantha is probably best known at Loma Linda Academy for her outstanding leadership. As senior class president last year, she worked tirelessly to promote a sense of community among the different classes and to make her class a positive influence on campus. According to statements by her teachers, the academy's faculty generally agreed that she was the best senior class president in recent memory at LLA.
It was not the first time Samantha's leadership was evident. Her sophomore year, as one of the younger members of the school's fledgling mock trial team, she was unexpectedly asked to step up into the role of lead defense attorney for a county competition. "I always wanted to be a lawyer, so it was something that I was passionate about, and I worked harder at that than I ever have on anything," she says. The work paid off: The county awarded her Best Defense Attorney of the competition. In addition, she says the experience taught her important skills, like the value of commitment and how to think on her feet.
Samantha is also a committed community servant. With her family, she co-founded Simple Acts of Kindness Evangelism, a service group aimed at improving quality of life for low-income families in San Bernardino. The group organizes many community projects, including cleaning up public areas, tutoring students, and hosting health fairs and food drives. Many of these projects are done on Sabbath afternoons, a time that Samantha says too many people waste just eating and napping. "We figured that this is a need in the community," she says. "We want to show that Christ loved people in a practical way."
This summer, Samantha is participating in California Youth RUSH, a 10-week door-to-door evangelism program that distributes Seventh-day Adventist literature and Bible studies while helping students earn scholarship money to attend Adventist schools. She starts at PUC in the fall, with plans to double major in pre-law communication and theology. "I haven't figured it quite out yet, but I still want to be a lawyer," she says. "I figure I have some time before I decide what I want to be." What she does know is that PUC is where God wants her to get her start.
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