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INVESTING IN ENGINEERING: $160,000 Awarded to East Orange STEM Academy Students by Amazon

East Orange


By: Richard L. Smith 

Several students at a STEM school in Essex County were awarded tens of thousands by a corporation that has promoted student excellence for years. 

 officials announced the '2023 Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship” recipients this week. 

 “The Amazon Scholarship program has provided a great opportunity for our students to continue to dream big and focus on their goals. As a school community, we’re very proud of student recipients and humbled by this opportunity.” -Dr. Vincent Stallings,  Principal of East Orange STEM Academy


Officials told RLS Media that this year, Amazon awarded 400 scholarships, providing $16 million in paid tuition for students to attend the U.S. college or university of their choice.

Officials say through Amazon Future Engineer, their global philanthropic education initiative, each student will receive $40,000 over four years to pursue a degree in computer science or engineering and a paid internship after their freshman year to gain practical work experience with mentorship from Amazon leaders.

Scholarship recipients applied for the opportunity and were selected based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, community involvement, work experience, future goals, and financial need.


This year’s cohort, which includes high school seniors from nearly 40 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, is the most diverse yet, with representation from groups that are currently underrepresented in jobs related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

According to Amazon officials, more than 70% of these remarkable students identify as Black, Latino, and Native American, and 50% identify as a woman or nonbinary.

The East Orange STEM Academy winners are: 

Daniella Barron, Computer Science, Rutgers University,

Serena Bazilio, Computer Science, University of Southern California,

Gael Fievre, Computer Science, Northeastern,

Alisa Phill, Computer Science, Rutgers University.

"Every year, I continue to be inspired by our scholarship recipients’ academic achievements and drive to use their problem-solving abilities to build solutions for their communities,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of Philanthropic Education Initiatives at Amazon. 

A vast supporter of STEM education in the district AbdulSaleem Hasan, Ed.S., Superintendent of Schools for East Orange, has made noticeable improvements to the town’s Engineering education curriculum and how several schools take part in learning that particular area of study. 

“With students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities representing only 18% of CS bachelor’s degrees, we believe that connecting students to computer science education and opportunities help create a more equitable and inclusive future across all industries and sectors for generations to come."

CORRECTION: A prior print of this story stated that “Verizon” supplied the scholarships which was erroneous and has been corrected to state Amazon -alone-  supplied the scholarships.