Two Santa Monica High School graduates, Amber Carmi-Smith and Wyles Vance, are among 16 high school seniors who have been chosen as 2007 Milken Scholars.

Carmi-Smith plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley and Vance plans to attend Stanford University.

The 16 were chosen from hundreds of the most outstanding students in the Los Angeles area,

With this recognition from the Milken Family Foundation comes a $10,000 scholarship, plus access to a combination of resources that includes career-related counseling, assistance with internships, opportunities for volunteerism, an academic/career exploration fund, and support from a network of professionals and Milken Scholar alumni.

The program is committed to making a difference in the lives of scholars who in turn will have the opportunity to make an even greater impact on the world around them, according to Milken officials.

“I couldn’t imagine my life being what it is now if I hadn’t been a Milken Scholar,” said Dr. Sophia Malamud, who earned a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and is an assistant professor at Brandeis University.

As new recipient Emmanuel Yekutiel noted, the far-reaching impact of this award creates a value of a “life scholarship.”

The other 2007 Milken Scholars are Diana Avalos of John Marshall High School, Steven Chua of Chatsworth High School, Melinda Grant of Lawndale High School, Jung Hyan (Julie) Lee of Beverly Hills High School, Jennifer Lew of Abraham Lincoln High School,

Kevin Martinez of Woodrow Wilson High School. Alex Melamed of Shalhevet High School, Tsung Mou of West Covina High School, Jocelyn Perez of Reseda High School, Diego Renteria of South Gate High School,

Hong Sio of West Covina High School, Kimberly Solomon of William H. Taft High School, Huy Tran of Torrance High School, and Emmanuel Yekutiel of Harvard-Westlake High School.

“These students have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership and community service,” said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Educator Awards and a director of the Milken Scholars. “They have exceptional ability, ambition and fortitude. We supply tools and support so that these remarkable young women and men can maximize their potential. “Our motto is ‘Lifelong Learners for a Better World’.”

The Keynote Luncheon Speaker will be Janice Bryant Howroyd, chief executive officer of Act 1. Other featured speakers include David Kim, chief executive officer of Baja Fresh and Dennis Tito, chief executive officer of Wilshire Associates, Incorporated.

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