TWENTYNINE PALMS — Twentynine Palms High School senior Dejejuanice (Deje) Brewer is hoping to use her status as the winner of the 2020 Greenleaf Scholarship to study her way to a career as an oral surgeon.
After completing her studies at Copper Mountain College, she thinks she may want to transfer to the University of California in Los Angeles or Davis.
“I always knew I wanted to help people,” Brewer said recently.
She added that she always wanted to go into medicine but was not certain how until last year when she signed up for the dental assistant program at Twentynine Palms High School.
She said she was particularly affected by the program’s community outreach to help those in need in the area.
Brewer has also been involved in Crochet for a Cause, which crocheted scarves for area homeless people.
The played basketball for the Wildcats for two years and this year served as a team manager.
Brewer said she was surprised when she found out she had won the scholarship.
“I did not really think I was going to get it,” she said, adding that she had faith in God.
“I just talked to them, I was honest,” she said of the interview she gave to the selection committee.
“What impressed me when interviewing Deje was her grit,” Copper Mountain College Foundation Executive Director Sandy Smith said.
“That’s the word she used and it came through loud and clear in her interview. In spite of her environmental challenges, she chooses to focus on the betterment of herself.
“Taking AP classes, committing to improving her speech, diction and personal presentation and surrounding herself with positive role models are within her control and those are the things she is doing for herself. It is pretty amazing!”
“I appreciative of all the people who supported me and sent prayers for me throughout this journey, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” Brewer said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without God.”
Brewer is joined by Anwyn Hilderbrand and Anthony Rodriguez Rojas from Yucca Valley High School, and Diego Hernandez and Teagan Thompson from Twentynine Palms High School as scholarship finalists.
A celebration ceremony will take place at a later date.
The scholarship will pay tuition, books, and fees plus living expenses while Brewer attends Copper Mountain College and while she attends a university to complete a baccalaureate degree.
Endowed by local banker F. Roy Greenleaf Jr., the scholarship is awarded each year to a promising student that is interested in learning, is success-oriented, has performed well in school and shows a desire to return to the Morongo Basin upon completion of their education.
For more information on how Copper Mountain College Foundation uses legacy gifts, visit www.cmccd.edu/Foundation.