EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Montwood High School student Gael Sustaita received the Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship from Amazon. Sustaita will be able to study computer science or engineering at a university of his choice. Additionally, he will have a paid internship at Amazon after his freshman year of college.

Sustaita was surprised to receive a box from Amazon containing the award. “I saw this thing at the bottom of the box,” said an excited Sustaita, who was congratulated by his peers. The card in the box read the amount of the scholarship: $40,000. “Thank you Amazon,” he said.

In its announcement, Amazon indicated Sustaita is one of 400 high school seniors from underserved communities across the nation to receive the award. There were a total of 52 students from Texas, most of them Black, LatinX or Native American, with over fifty percent identifying as women or nonbinary.

“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. “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 helps create a more equitable and inclusive future, across all industries and sectors, for generations to come.”

Nationwide, Amazon awarded $16 million in college tuition to computer science students. These recipients were chosen based on academic achievement, leadership skills, community involvement, work experience, future goals, and financial needs.