BARSTOW — A University Preparatory freshman was awarded a $1,000 scholarship while receiving recognition from local and federal leaders at Wednesday’s High Desert Water Summit.
Nolan Serumaga, a UP ninth-grader, appeared onstage at the event, which was attended by hundreds of spectators Wednesday at the Barstow Community College Performing Arts Center.
Serumaga was one of five finalists in an essay contest on the topic of water conservation. He competed against students from around the High Desert, including high school upperclassmen and a UCLA student.
Serumaga and the five other finalists were awarded certificates of recognition by San Bernardino County 3rd District Supervisor James Ramos, and they were also recognized by representatives for Congressman Paul Cook and 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood. The overall winner of the contest, Enrique Arcilla from the Academy for Academic Excellence, received a $5,000 scholarship, while Serumaga and three other finalists received $1,000 each.
Serumaga was featured in a video segment shown to the crowd, where he talked about the importance of water conservation and was shown enjoying his hobby, playing the guitar.
Each student was paired with a community member to work on the essay. Serumaga teamed up with Victorville businessman David Greiner, who said in the video that he was impressed with Serumaga’s knowledge and work ethic.
University Prep Principal Valerie Hatcher was also on hand Wednesday to congratulate Serumaga.