In the spotlight: Senior financial aid recipients honored at annual dinner

Kendall Dees

Students, alumni and parents gathered to celebrate the financial aid program at the annual Spotlight dinner April 15.
The event is a chance to honor financial aid recipients who are in their senior year at the school.
The students are honored with their families and with a large gathering of people who have been supportive of financial aid and potential donors, according to President Rick Commons.
Each student honored was joined by a faculty member who has made an impact on their time at the school.
Nine seniors on financial aid, Kelly Lopez ’18, Diego Ayala ’18, Axel Rivera de León ’18 , Jayda Ruffus-Milner ’18, Jayla Ruffus-Milner ’18, Wilder Short ’18, Aileen Cano ’18, Sakura Price ’18 and John Harbour ’18, were recognized for their accomplishments at Harvard-Westlake.
“Having a couple minutes completely devoted to praising me in front of a lot of very wealthy and important people was kind of crazy,” Rivera de León said. “It was really validating of all of the work that I have put in. It was really nice.”
In addition to honoring the seniors, distinguished alumni and former financial aid recipients, Zena Edosomwan ’12 and Letitia Moore ’82 shared their experiences after graduating.
Following graduation, Edosomwan went on to play basketball at Harvard University and Moore became a Senior Counsel with the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Moore shared that without the opportunities that the school provided to her through financial aid, she never would have been able to achieve what she has post-graduation, according to Rivera de León.
“It was a great opportunity to showcase the many contributions of these exceptional seniors and the opportunity to learn more about financial aid and how meaningful those dollars are and how much they go towards supporting fantastic students at the school,” attendee Anessa Karney (Alex Goldstein ’19) said.