Long Beach can count one of their own as the recipient of a prestigious scholarship, launching a new alumnus into a realm of sky-high potential.
A Long Beach Poly High School alumnus won a $10,000 scholarship to the Milken Scholars, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, the foundation announced Monday.
Destin Bigsby, an alum of the Program of Additional Curricular Experience (PACE) program at Poly, was among 15 students awarded the winnings and a “lifetime of resources,” according to the Milken Foundation, selected on his academic performance, community service and leadership abilities.
“We’re honored to welcome these exceptional students to the Scholars family,” said Mike Milken in a statement, who cofounded the program with his wife Lori in 1989. “Each has already demonstrated academic excellence, a commitment to community service and the fortitude to overcome adversity. Many are children of first- and second-generation Americans. We’re pleased to offer them a helping hand and grateful for the opportunity to interact with tomorrow’s leaders.”
Bigsby spent his high school years busy with Advanced Placement studies, earning the AP Scholar with Distinction award, in addition to founding the ONE BIG DEED club, based on the premise that each small action creates lasting impact.
Through the organization, Bigsby developed “Playroom to Classroom,” where students in elementary classrooms play games, sing songs and do crafts via Skype with patients at a local hospital, according to the release.
The organization also helped students in need attend prom and Grad Night at Long Beach Poly, raising funds for caps and gowns, prom and Grad Night tickets, as well as yearbooks.
But his community service is just one part of his career at Long Beach Poly. While in high school, Bigsby was a varsity wrestler and captain of the Long Beach Poly debate team, in addition to serving as a judge for future junior varsity debates.
He won several awards through the C-SPAN Student Cam Documentaries competition. In one of his winning projects, he journeyed to Newtown, Connecticut and interviewed the chief of police and mother of one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims regarding gun violence. That and other projects centered on renewable energy, mental illness and gun violence earned him an internship with Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell.
Bigsby is slated to study economics and political science at the University of California, San Diego.
Above, left: Photo courtesy of the Milken Foundation.