Bezos Scholars 2021


Peter Goldstein

CONGRATULATIONS: Gabriel Gerig and Principal Francisco Lopez received an award for an accomplishment in 2021.

Christie Montrose, Staff Writer

Gabriel Gerig is recognized as one of the Student Scholars in the 2021 Bezos Scholars, along with Principal Francisco Javier Lopez Ortiz as an Educator Scholar.

Gerig is a junior in the Medical Academy and he’s also the president of the National Honor Society.

“It feels incredible and amazing to be one of the Bezos Scholars but it’s also because of the hard work that I have put in the past three years,” Gerig said, “and also all the support that I have received from my family, girlfriend, the administration and number one because of God.”

Gerig said he came to the United States in 2017 from Venezuela where he was raised until he and his family had to leave because of political problems. Even though there was a language barrier, he said, he worked hard to achieve his goals and inspire people. He’s passionate about helping the community and playing soccer. 

“It is a great honor for Inlet Grove and for me.” Prinipal Lopez said, “I think that Gabriel exemplifies what it is to be a Bezos Scholar, he is intelligent, dedicated, kind, tenacious, respectful, and has a great sense of responsibility to improve his community.”

According to the Bezos Scholars Program website, it was created to give students a platform to figure out solutions to some of the most important issues in their local areas. The scholars have been raising awareness in their community from America to Africa since 2005.

In a statement for the Bezos Scholars Program in May, Sara Billups said. “The program usually begins with an all-expenses-paid trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival, in Colorado, where students engage in leadership training, panel discussions, and exclusive conversations with many of the world’s most acclaimed scientists, journalists, artists, and global leaders.”

Bezos Scholars Program said the students and educators that are chosen to be Scholars have shown leadership on issues like mental health awareness, advocacy civic engagement, STEM education, environmental justice, refugee and immigrant rights, and much more.

“The cohort’s 13 teams, made up of rising high school seniors and educators from across the U.S. and Africa, will design and lead projects to foster change in their communities,” Billups said

For students who might be interested in this program, Principal Lopez said “I recommend for students to reach for their dreams and focus on improving themselves as individuals. Education is a key that can open a lot of doors for you. Students should concentrate on getting good grades, do good things for their community and reach out for mentorship opportunities. If they are interested in this program they should apply and talk to an educator that is willing to take this journey with them.”