Athena's Annual Pinnacle Scholarship Awards

Championing the Next Generation of STEM Leaders



Canyon Crest


Studying Biology 

at Yale University



High School

Studying Engineering

at MIT



High School

Studying Computer Science

at Columbia University

Sarina Krishnan

The Bishop's


Studying Technology

at Princeton

Padilla Leon

Olympian High School

Studying Neuroscience

at USC

Athena proudly champions the next generation of women leaders in science and technology through its Annual Pinnacle Scholarships. Each year, these merit-based scholarships are awarded to five remarkable high school seniors to promote the next generation of women leading in STEM.

Pinnacle scholarships are awarded to high school seniors planning to enter a four-year university to study in the sciences, math, or engineering fields. Outstanding applicants are well-rounded women who’ve demonstrated academic excellence, leadership in school organizations, and community involvement. Winners receive their scholarships at our annual Pinnacle Awards celebration.

Individuals, companies, and foundations can help young women with promising futures in science or technology by donating to the Pinnacle Scholarship Fund. The Pinnacle Scholarship Fund is managed by the Athena Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, and our partner the San Diego Foundation.

Applications are now closed for the 2020 Pinnacle Scholarships. The 2021 application period will open in January. Please email with questions.

In addition to a financial award, each Pinnacle Scholarship recipient is paired with an Athena Foundation board member for a mentorship. 

Shae Galli 

Through Athena, my incredible mentor not only gives me insightful advice about academics and about the wide world of STEM, but our discussions spark my curiosity about science and solidify my passion for the field.


Mentoring these remarkable young women keeps me young. It is an honor to mentor the future STEM leaders of our world.




I am so thankful for the mentoring I’ve received through Athena. It has helped me think through and beyond my professional and personal ambitions and has helped me set aside my anxieties when I step off the beaten road.

UC San Diego

Principal | Zed Strategic Consulting

Lynne Friedmann 

Principal | Friedmann Communications

As a mentor, the goal is to sharpen the focus of my Pinnacle scholar through the lens of my experience—a body of knowledge that is continually enhanced as her interests become my interests. This leads to stimulating conversations and growing pride as she excels at her studies and launches her career. Looking forward to the day when my role as mentor evolves to that of a colleague in STEM.

Marisa Beresford 

Cal Poly SLO

Having a mentor is extremely helpful because it gives me a more personal connection to Athena. My mentor sends me current articles related either to my field of study or to my hobbies, keeping me up to date on all of my interests. I’m very grateful to have someone advise me on my career path as I grow my skill set. She’s a great resource and someone I look forward to continuing my relationship with. 


The Athena mentorship program has provided me a female role-model in the STEM workforce that can relate to my aspirations and provide support and advice.  She has inspired me and I know I can come to her with any question.  

Sue Ebner 

Principal | Ebner Consults

I view mentoring as a mutually beneficial relationship, based upon trust, confidentiality and empathy. My role is to provide my mentee exposure to new ideas and approaches, advice on optimizing skills and overcoming weaknesses, encouraging new skills, embracing new opportunities/roles and enhancing leadership/executive presence. I encourage my mentee to reflect, commit, take action to be herself, be bold and be engaged. As a mentor, what an honor and a privilege it is, I am equally challenged by gaining exposure to new perspectives, approaches and ideas.  

Cal Poly SLO

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