Johanna Meister, of Darlington, received a scholarship from the Richard E. Jones Foundation that will cover tuition for the Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. for three weeks this summer.
The Richard E. Jones Foundation was started in honor of Richard E. Jones, a teacher in Los Angeles, Calif., who positively influenced the lives of many of his students, several of whom went on to become successful professionals in many different fields and eventually started this foundation in their mentor’s honor.
One of those successful professionals is Darlington’s own Jin Kim, ER medical director at the Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County. Kim met Jones when he was a 7th grade student at Griffith Jr. High School in East Los Angeles, where Mr. Jones helped run the science program.
“Mr. Jones touched many lives at Griffith and a small group of us were lucky enough to continue and nurture the relationship beyond Griffith into adulthood. I was one of the lucky ones and our relationship continued and evolved over 30 years as I finished high school, graduated from Princeton, became an ER doctor and trudged through life,” said Kim.
Kim explained that during his journey through life, Mr. Jones was always there to guide him. “He was the most stabilizing force in my life,” he said.
Mr. Jones passed away in 2010 and two years afterwards, a group of his students from across the country, including Kim, decided to form this foundation to honor the mentor who helped to guide them, by giving an extraordinary chance to today’s generation of young students.
This year’s winner was Meister, who is excited to get the chance to travel to California for the SIG program, where she will be taking courses in the brain and dreaming, cosmic origins, fencing and bio-engineering.
Meister said she is currently looking into studying engineering or computer science when she begins college and is looking at different college options right now.
The scholarship will not only cover Meister’s tuition to SIG, but also room and board while staying at the university and round trip travel expenses.
Meister is the daughter of David and Danielle Meister and just finished her junior year at Darlington High School.