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 40 High Schoolers Win New Laptops as part of MTS and Reyes Coca-Cola Essay Contest

Today the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced the 40 winners of the annual MTS and Reyes Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship Essay Contest, which awards top-scoring students with brand new laptop computers. The winning students came from 33 different high schools in San Diego County, and were awarded a Lenovo - Ideapad 3.

Due to the pandemic the laptops are coming at a crucial time for students who had already been working through issues with technology at home for over a year. Students shared stories about the struggles of distance learning, including borrowing or sharing laptops, old laptops not working, and challenging Wi-fi connections.

“It’s been a very challenging year for these students. They all faced an unprecedented learning experience,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair, and Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “I am very proud of them. It is encouraging to see that this up-and-coming generation has a lot of talent, resolve and perseverance.”

Students in grades 9-12 were asked to explore PRONTO, the new fare collection system MTS passengers will being using this summer, and write abouthow its new capabilities will help improve access to transit in San Diego,with features such as fare-capping, instant money deposit, multi-card family options, online balance tracking and much more.

“We are very excited for students and all of our passengers to begin using PRONTO this summer, and the essays reflected that excitement,” said Mary Casillas Salas, MTS Boardmember and Mayor of Chula Vista. “We appreciate the students, and the partnership with Reyes Coca-Cola and the San Diego County Office of Education in making this contest a success every year.”

“The last year has shown very clearly the impact technology can have on students’ access to education,” said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. “And while many students have returned to school campuses, they still need computers. I am proud of the students who participated and thankful to MTS and the Reyes Coca Cola Bottling Company for their support.”

“The Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Company is honored to be a part of this event,” said Denise Brant, Account Executive at Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Co. “Technology plays an intricate part in each of our daily roles, to know that each recipient will be able to use their laptop not only to further their education, but for so much more. I commend each and every recipient for their award and wish them all the best.”

The laptop scholarship essay contest is a long-standing event partnership between MTS, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Company and the San Diego County Office of Education. To be eligible to win, students had to be San Diego County residents and enrolled in a San Diego County high school.

MTS continues to operate 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines. Frequencies and spans have been restored to near-pre-COVID-19 levels. Updated schedules can be accessed on the MTS website. MTS asks that that people wear face coverings at all times and practice physical distancing when possible.

Winners of the 2020 MTS & Reyes Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship Contest are:

NameGrade School 
Kumail Afshar 12 
Del Norte High School 
​Brayan Torres Anastacio
​Poway High School 
Sama Atto 10 Valhalla High School 
McKenna Berner 12 Westview High School 
​Thomas Brackman
​Ramona High School
Angelina Cano 
10 Eastlake High School 
David Castellon Otay Ranch High School 
Selena Chavez 12 San Diego Workforce Innovation High School
​Tisha Chowdhury
​Rancho Bernardo High School
Ethan Chuang 11 The Bishop's School 
​Tyler Costello
​Canyon Crest Academy
Kimmy Dang 
Crawford High School 
Elijah Gagnier 11 Castle Park High School 
Gabriella Hernandez Vista High School 
Jessica Hernandez 12 Granite Hills High School 
Bennett Hochner 12 Sage Creek High School 
Angelica Kamahi 12 Granite Hills High School 
Priscilla Korha 10 Morse High School 
Emily Le 12 Hoover High School 
Noah Randahl Lopez 12 Escondido Charter High School 
Kaley Mafong 11 Canyon Crest Academy 
Carmen Marin Patrick Henry High School 
Martin Martinez Chula Vista High School 
Laysha Melendez 12 El Cajon Valley High School 
Kyle Nagasawa 12 Del Norte High School 
Anjali Paye 12 Academy of Our Lady of Peace 
Diana Perez 12 Escondido High School 
Ella Perry 11 Kearny Senior High School 
​Simmon Quan
​James Madison High School
Adelle Belen Priest 12 Valley Center High School 
Noemi Rocha 10 Fallbrook Union High School 
Julianna Ruedas 12 The Preuss School 
​Cesar Ivan Torres Sandoval
​Montgomery High School 
Riley Sargent 11 Rancho Buena Vista High School 
Giovanni Serrano 12 University City High School 
Gavin Stewart 
10 Escondido Charter High School 
Miguel Talamantez 12 Helix Charter High School 
Jonathan Ty 10 Sweetwater High School 
Aadil Umar 12 Del Norte High School 
Aaron Vidales Escondido Charter High School