SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - 17-year-old Lauren Macasiljig of San Jose is on cloud nine after news she received while attending the Beyonce and Jay-Z concert at Levi's Stadium last Saturday.
During the concert, the announcement that she is among only 11 graduating high school seniors across the country to receive a $100,000 scholarship from the performers' foundation in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club.
DJ Khalid announced Lauren's name at the concert. Lauren said it was a complete surprise.
"It feels amazing. Such an opportunity to be given this beautiful gift. I've made it," she said.
KTVU met with Lauren Thursday at the Boys & Girls Smythe Clubhouse in East San Jose where she teaches children leadership and teamwork. Her straight A's and her work with children led to her nomination.
"When you live in a community like this, East San Jose, where there's a lot of gang violence, drug dealing, it's easy for a lot of kids to give up," said Lauren. She hope her scholarship will send a message to children.
"They don't have to give up on their dreams," said the 17-year-old. .
Lauren was one of six seniors in Santa Clara County considered for the scholarship.
"She was doing stuff that a full adult staff person was doing as a 16, 17 year-old kid," said Adam Hernandez with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. He is Lauren's supervisor and he's the one who nominated her for the scholarship without her knowledge.
"I did not know how I was going to pay for college. My parents couldn't pay for it," said Lauren.
She is the oldest of three children. She and her family immigrated from the Philippines just five years ago when she was twelve and spoke little English.
"It was difficult. Sometime people would have to translate my homework just so I can understand it." said Lauren.
Her first choice for college is Columbia University in New York. The scholarship will pay for tuition and other expenses. The teen says she wants to see a world beyond the Bay Area. She hopes for a career helping people and giving them a voice.
"My advice would be never give up on your dreams. Work hard for them," said Lauren.
She expects to know by mid-December if she's been accepted into Columbia. Her mentors say they're confident she'll be a success no matter what school she will attend. Lauren says she may run for political office one day.