Congratulations to Our 2016 Bellevue Chamber Foundation Scholarship Recipients

Member News,

By Valerie Thomas, Bellevue Chamber Intern

To help students with ongoing learning opportunities, the Bellevue Chamber has established the Bellevue Chamber Foundation. Funding for our 2016 scholarships is made possible through the generous support of Delta Air Lines, our Presenting Sponsor of our Spirit of Bellevue Run/Walk, and other community partners who support education including KeyBank, offering one named scholarship. This year, $6,000 was awarded to four deserving Bellevue graduating seniors.


Pictured from left to right: Jimmy Ng, KeyBank; Sara Garner, Bellevue Chamber; Layla Jamil & Elly Connett-Porceddu, 2016 Scholarship Recipients; Erika Shinpaugh, Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC, and David Masin, Bellevue Chamber Board Chair-Elect and Seldens Designer Home Furnishings.

Jimmy Ng, Vice President, Sr. Business Banking Relationship Manager at KeyBank, presented the scholarship awards at the Bellevue Chamber Business Lunch on July 14. “We have amazing students in the Bellevue School District. I know this first-hand by participating in all the interviews this year,” he said. Erika Shinpaugh, Attorney with Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC and Valerie Laird, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Board Member and Director of Sales at ARC Document Solutions joined him on the scholarship committee. “We had a chance to learn a little bit about their hobbies, including finding cures for illnesses in third-world countries and community activism,” Jimmy commented. “My hobbies were playing Nintendo, or in today’s terms Pokémon Go!”

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients!

Elly Connett-Porceddu is a graduate from Sammamish High School, and is awarded the Delta Airlines Scholarship. Elly has selected Western Washington University to further her education in English and Theatre. She also has hopes to pursue either a master’s degree or a post-baccalaureate degree in secondary education. She is an active leader in her school by being a part of the Thespian Society, coaching and mentoring other students in acting and singing, and being a National Student Leadership Conference invitee for two years running. Elly has demonstrated her ability to help and lead others in a positive way.

The KeyBank scholarship has been awarded to Layla Jamil, a graduate of Interlake High School, and will be attending University of Washington in the fall. Layla has shown she is a leader at school by welcoming incoming students, and a Math tutor for her peers. Most importantly, she has a desire to dedicate her life to helping those who struggle with health problems. Her motivation to become a neurologist is driven by her life threatening experience with a brain tumor. Because of this she feels inspired to go to medical school and help other people get the chance she had.

The Ralph James Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Emily Sun, a graduate from Interlake high school. Emily plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley and hopes to study Chemistry and Biology. Emily says her motivation to study science is driven by her desire to “uncover the magic behind our world.” Emily spends a lot of her time on music; she is the Student President of Interlake Music Association and the Concertmaster of the Interlake Orchestra. She was selected to participate in the All-National Symphony Orchestra, Honors Orchestra of America, and the All-State Symphony Orchestra. Along with her achievements in music, Emily has also participated in two varsity sports, Cross country and Track. In addition to sports, she was also accepted into the National Honors Society.

The Bellevue Chamber Foundation STEM Scholarship was awarded to Jennifer McKeon, a graduate from Sammamish High School. She will attend the University of Washington with hopes to become a biomedical engineer. She explains that she “hopes she will be able to improve the quality of life for both developed and emerging communities with my future in biomaterials and bioengineering.” Her sister’s hospital experiences, in third-world countries, have inspired her to develop sustainable and affordable treatment options. In addition to her contribution to multiple clubs, Jennifer organized and coordinated a middle school STEM camp for young girls.