EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Montwood High School senior Gael Sustaita shares his experience with KTSM 9 News after receiving the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship earlier this week.

Sustaita was awarded $40,000 to study computer science or engineering and a paid internship at Amazon on Tuesday, April 25 all thanks to his Engineering Teacher and Robotics Coach Lus Ramirez.

“He came to me and asked if I can be his recommender for the award and so he applied for this many, many months ago. They reached out to me one evening, and they asked me if I would be willing to surprise him with an Amazon package letting him know that he won the award,” Ramirez said.

Surprising him with the unexpected in front of his fellow classmates and friends until he opened the Amazon package.

“I told him that we received an amazon package with more giveaways, we give away little trinkets to tier competing teams. So that’s exactly what I said, ‘What senior wants to open this box?’ and I gave it to Gael. He opened it and that is where he saw the surprise.” Sustaita said.  

Through his four years of dedication at Montwood, Sustaita says he’s grateful to be financially set. Plus, getting paid to intern at Amazon after his freshman year in college.

Sustaita is considered one of 400 high school seniors from underserved communities across the nation to receive the Amazon Future Engineering Scholarship.

“It feels very validating because for the last four years, my teams have been working really hard for the last four years so this is kind of like a big achievement for the entire organization as whole,” Sustaita said.

While Sustaita will attend UTEP after he graduates, his advice to other students is to take advantage of all the opportunities high school offers.

“Obviously I joined this robotics team, and I became a leader, the four years that I was here. So, it gave me a lot of stories that I could tell, something that I could really express what I’m all about in a few short paragraphs and that really helps me do something big.”   

All scholarship recipients were chosen based on criteria, academic achievement, leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need.

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