HANFORD — Hanford High senior Keslee Green is going to be the first person from her family to attend college.

She’ll also have all of her tuition paid for after filling out applications for more than 30 different scholarships.

This past week, Keslee learned she was awarded a $40,000 scholarship through Edison International’s Edison Scholars Program for students planning to study science, technology, engineering or math.

She is planning to study wildlife science while attending Utah State.

Keslee found out about the scholarship from a family member who had posted it on Facebook. She decided to apply, filling out the necessary paperwork and writing the needed essay just like she has done for dozens of other scholarships.

Earlier this month, Keslee received a letter in the mail that she was awarded one of the scholarships.

“I couldn’t’ believe it when I opened it,” Keslee said. “I just sat there staring at it. I really didn’t want to have to take out students loans if I didn’t have to. It means a lot.”

She’ll attend an awards ceremony for the scholarship May 11 in Rosemead, which is near Los Angeles.

Kelli Green, Keslee’s mother, said Keslee started thinking about scholarships at an early age and was always focused on school work.

“I never had to remind her to do homework or to remind her to get something finished,” Kelli Green said. "She just had the kind of work ethic that she didn’t need a lot of direction. Even when she was younger, she’d ask questions about what she could do to get into a good college and get scholarships.”

Along with carrying a weighted GPA of 4.05, Keslee has stayed busy outside of class. Along with being a captain on Hanford High’s swim team, Keslee  is the vice president of the school’s aquatics club, a member of the state honor choir and a member of the school’s Salad Bowl club.

Keslee said that in the Salad Bowl club, members try different ethnic foods and learn about different cultures. The club also does different community service projects in the area.

She is also an avid photographer because of her love for the outdoors. That led her to her major of choice.

“I want to work with the national parks,” Keslee said. “I really like nature and I want to be able to help and understand how the environment works. I like being able to be out there. I love when you’re in a place where there’s no cell phone service.”

Kelli Green said Keslee goes out of her way to go places for her photography.

“She’ll find a group of friends to do trips just for photography,” Kelli Green said. “She’s always going up to the mountains on the weekends when she can.”

Keslee was one of 30 high school seniors to be awarded a $40,000 scholarship through Edison International.

Students were eligible by living in or attending high school in Southern California Edison’s service territory or attending a high school near the company’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

“Through their pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math, we believe these students will make important contributions to our communities and society,” said Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International in a release. “We are proud to support them.”

Kelli Green was proud as well, especially with Keslee being the first from the family to attend college.

“She’s always wanted to do her best and I’m super excited for her,” Kelli Green said. “I feel so much pride; I don’t know how to describe how I feel. I’m just so proud of her.”

Keslee hopes she can inspire her siblings and other students into applying for scholarships and doing well in school to be able to attend college.  “I wanted to set a good example for my siblings.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2431 or jbutters@HanfordSentinel.com. Follow him on twitter @jsbutters.

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