Incoming UCR first year Anggita Suryadewi was awarded the Advantech Intelligent Planet Scholarship on June 1 through The $2,500 scholarship was awarded to 4 high school seniors across 2 states, and is meant to “support innovators who are determined to complete their degrees through higher education,” according to the scholarship site. 

The Intelligent Plant Scholarship is funded by Advantech, a technology company based in Taiwan. In the scholarship information, Advantech’s stated mission is to “enable an intelligent planet with Automation and Embedded Computing products and solutions that empower the development of smarter working and living.” This is reflected in the essay prompt for the scholarship, which was to “tell us about what an intelligent planet means to you and how you would work to make your vision a reality.”

For Suryadewi, a microbiology major, financial independence is important, and that influenced her decision to apply to the Intelligent Planet Scholarship. “My parents really wanted me to be financially independent,” she said in an interview with The Highlander. “So I came across this and I thought, Okay, why not? Let’s apply for it.” Suryadewi elaborated, “when I actually won it I felt happy because now my parents don’t have to…take any money out of their pocket to pay, at least for my first year of university…I’m really grateful. I’m so grateful and honored that I won.”

Saryadewi’s essay response is framed around themes of community and environmentalism, themes with parallels to personal life. Saryadewi immigrated to the United States from Indonesia at the age of 9, and the differences in education systems have been insightful. “[In the US] they go into more detail and answer… why is it important? And how can we use it and apply it to the real world? So I guess that really helped open up my mind a lot about [how] education is really important.” In her essay, the theme of the importance of education is seen through an emphasis on understanding others and how an intelligent planet “means continuing to learn together.”

Another theme present in Suryadewi’s essay is that of environmental sustainability, writing, “an intelligent planet means adopting and implementing new technologies that are eco-friendly,” and that “these technologies must not only be accessible but also affordable for everyone so that everyone can contribute to the preservation of our planet. Suryadewi shared that her interest in sustainability first arose from her time in her high school’s environmental club. 

Suryadewi will be starting classes at UCR this upcoming academic year. She looks to start this new chapter with a focus on a few goals. “Once school starts, I’ll definitely try and get myself involved in more things, hopefully get out of my comfort zone…and make some new friends.”