DJ Wulah and Valerie Tse (holding certificates) were two of three recent graduates who received scholarships at the most recent Bellevue Chamber of Commerce lunch. Manoj Simha, the third recipient, was not present at the event. Hanson Lee/staff photo

DJ Wulah and Valerie Tse (holding certificates) were two of three recent graduates who received scholarships at the most recent Bellevue Chamber of Commerce lunch. Manoj Simha, the third recipient, was not present at the event. Hanson Lee/staff photo

Bellevue-area graduates receive Bellevue Chamber Foundation scholarships

At Bellevue’s chamber lunch, scholarships were awarded to Manoj Simha, Valerie Tse and DJ Wulah.

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce latest lunch highlighting Safeco Field and a new fan experience was held July 19.

Fred Rivera, Seattle Mariners executive vice president of legal and government affairs and general counsel, took to the floor for a majority of the afternoon speaking on behalf of the Mariners organization about downtown Seattle’s Safeco Field venue.

Rivera discussed future plans for the stadium and what the venue is currently doing to try and benefit surrounding communities and the Mariners fanbase. Rivera made it clear that longevity has played a major role in the success of ballparks around Major League Baseball (MLB) and that he hopes the success of Safeco Field involves withstanding the test of time. Rivera also emphasized his overall goal with the organization, which is to continue making Safeco Field one of the best ballparks in the MLB.

As a part of the afternoon festivities, the chamber recognized and awarded three high school graduates from the Bellevue School District (BSD). The recipients showed an exemplary high level of success throughout their high school careers, standing out among their classmates.

Manoj Simha, Valerie Tse and DJ Wulah were all honored as the recipients of this year’s class of 2018 and were each provided with scholarships to help fund their future college education.

Manoj Simha is 18 years old and graduated from Interlake High School. Simha was awarded with the Keybank Scholarship, which is for students pursuing a degree in any field of interest. Simha, who could not attend the event, is planning on attending the University of Pennsylvania to continue his education.

Valerie Tse, 17, also graduated from Interlake High School. Tse was honored with the M. Gail Ryder Scholarship for entrepreneurial Bellevue students. Tse is planning on attending the University of Washington, where she hopes to continue her success as a student.

“It felt like the city was entrusting me and investing in my future,” Tse said. “This gives me the opportunity to expand.”

Eighteen-year-old DJ Wulah graduated from Bellevue High School and received the Ralph James Family Memorial Scholarship, which is geared toward students pursuing a degree in business. Wulah is looking forward to attending the University of Redlands where he hopes to continue his success in the classroom as well as on the football field.

“It means a lot,” Wulah said. “Just to get it showed that I can get through a lot of obstacles.”

In total, $5,000 in scholarship money was given out on the afternoon.

Dr. Ivan Duran, superintendent for BSD, spoke on behalf of the district and the three scholarship recipients. He expressed the importance of recognizing student success at the high school level and the significance of equipping the next generation for the future.

“Education is really the foundation for the future of our community,” Duran said. “We want to continue to highlight a lot of the wonderful things that our students are doing.”


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Interlake High School graduate, Valerie Tse, accepts the M. Gail Ryder Scholarship award on stage. Tse plans on attending the University of Washington to continue her higher education. Hanson Lee/staff photo

Interlake High School graduate, Valerie Tse, accepts the M. Gail Ryder Scholarship award on stage. Tse plans on attending the University of Washington to continue her higher education. Hanson Lee/staff photo

Bellevue High School graduate, DJ Wulah, accepts the Ralph James Family Memorial Scholarship on stage. Wulah plans on attending the University of Redlands to continue his higher education. Hanson Lee/staff photo

Bellevue High School graduate, DJ Wulah, accepts the Ralph James Family Memorial Scholarship on stage. Wulah plans on attending the University of Redlands to continue his higher education. Hanson Lee/staff photo