Ever since she was a little girl, Monache High School’s Addison Sampietro has always loved math and science. And in March, that love paid off. Sampietro, 18, learned she has been chosen as a Frost Scholar for Cal Poly – California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
While sifting through a flood of college application and invitation emails, she suddenly saw a new one come through from Cal Poly.
“This one said I had been selected for a Frost scholarship. I had not applied for anything so I thought it was some sort of scam,” Sampietro said. “I told my mom and we were skeptical. I could not believe it.”
That’s when Sampietro decided to call for more information.
The Frost Scholarship is unique. Students can't apply for it direct. It's only available by individual offers from the Frost Fund Director. And the school only offers it to the top-10 most outstanding students applying for degree programs in biological sciences, marine science, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, physics and statistics. Or in other words — math and science.
“They pick who gets it,” Sampietro said. “He said I was in the top two applicants out of 498. I was in tears. I did not believe it. I felt like I was the winner of the lottery.”
The family made an appointment to meet with the Dean on Zoom.
“He really wanted me to pick Cal Poly,’” Sampietro said. “And the thing is, I really was looking at Cal Poly. That was my top school choice.”
Now there's no question about which school she will attend and she's excited about the $80,000 Frost Scholarship — at $20,000 a year for four years — if she continues as a full-time student at Cal Poly and maintains a grade point average in the top half of students in the College of Science and Mathematics.
“I’m a very, very disciplined person and I love school,” she said. “I have the biggest love for learning. I can spend all day doing math and science.”
Sampietro has always loved science and math, she said. She attended St. Anne’s School through seventh grade and Sequoia Middle School in eighth grade because she felt it was the right time for public school.
“I had amazing science and math teachers,” she said, adding she was on the Math Super Bowl, Academic Decathlon and played volleyball.
By the time she got to Monache High School, she became active in an array of activities. She was in ASB – Associated Student Body – all four years, currently serving as the ASB Student Body President of the entire school, plays volleyball, is on the swim team, and is active in numerous clubs, including Interact, California Scholarship Federation, Link Crew, and spent two years in Pivet — a club which helps special-needs students and puts on a Special Needs Prom.
And she did it all while carrying a grade point average of 4.0 her freshman year, and 4.2 during her sophomore, junior and senior years by simultaneously taking college courses with her high school classes.
“You can’t take college courses as a freshman and that’s why I was 4.0 my freshman year,” Sampietro said. “I took Health, PC trigonometry, PC pre-calculus, PC English 101 A and 101 B.”
In addition, she was also in AP — advanced placement — English and composition, calculus and psychology, and has been named one of Monache's Class of 2021 Valedictorians.
“I had an amazing support team. My parents, and all four of my grandparents helped me with everything. My one grandma is a math teacher, and the other grandma is a counselor and helped me with college applications.”
Sampietro said she has always been more of a mathematician but pursuing science is “really fun.”
“Addison has always been a hard worker, and we are proud of what she has accomplished,” said her father, Paul Sampietro. “God has certainly been gracious to me in giving me a daughter like Addison. She is disciplined, hard working, and a good friend. Our entire family is happy to see her move into this next step in her life.”
For now, her plans are to graduate Thursday and move into Cal Poly by September 14 as a chemistry major.
Frost Scholars are strongly encouraged to participate in the Frost Undergraduate Research Program and to graduate in four years with immediate plans for graduate school, professional school or employment.
“I feel extremely blessed. This really showed me that hard work paid off. I can’t put into words how grateful I am receiving this scholarship,” Sampietro said. “It still shocks me but it’s an awesome feeling. I am so happy I’ve made my parents so proud.”