Tuscarora High student Priyanka Gupta and Tuscarora High computer science teacher Mary Bishop have been selected to participate in the Bezos Scholars Program.
Just 12 student scholars were selected nationally. Gupta and Bishop are the only representatives from Maryland.
The Bezos Scholars Program inspires and challenges young people, and an educator they nominated for support, to address issues they are passionate about in their communities.
“I’m excited to be a Bezos scholar to meet more amazing, driven students with similar passions to mine,” Gupta said. “I can’t wait to learn to be a better leader and role model in my community.”
Scholars are selected based on their commitment to education, leadership abilities, willingness to embrace challenges, and their desire to create positive change in their communities.
Gupta is an Indian immigrant who moved to the United States with her family at a very young age. Despite facing cultural differences, she quickly adapted to her new home. Gupta is actively involved in many clubs and volunteer organizations. She also aims to create more inclusive and equitable environments for STEM-related academics.
As a Bezos Scholar, Gupta will be supported by Bishop, a former IT professional who found her true passion in education. After teaching elementary school students and founding a coding and computer science club for Grades 3-5, Bishop transitioned to high school computer science. She is the Tuscarora High Computer Science Honor Society advisor and leads coding clubs supporting multiple schools.
The Bezos Scholars Program begins with virtual community building for students before they are invited to an all-expenses paid trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival, where students engage in leadership training, panel discussions and conversations with global leaders.
Students will then be encouraged to launch sustainable community change projects to transform their communities.
Since the program’s inception, nearly 200 projects have been launched by Bezos Scholars.