Only 20 years old, Christine Tjahjadi-Lopez, a junior geography major at the University at Buffalo, has completed most of her bucket list: she has visited her grandmother in Indonesia, won an oversized check and donated a large sum of money to a charity.
And despite her age, Tjahjadi-Lopez can already add entrepreneur, human rights activist, philanthropist and model to her resume. These accomplishments are what led to her being chosen from among more than 600 applicants from 293 colleges and universities as a finalist for the prestigious and very competitive Harry. S. Truman Scholarship.
Each year, 60 to 65 students receive the $30,000 national scholarship, awarded to college juniors pursuing graduate education in public service. Tjahjadi-Lopez travelled to New York City last month for an interview with the Truman scholarship committee, which included U.S District Court judges, university presidents and past Truman Scholars.
Truman scholarship winners will be announced in April.
This is not the first time Tjahjadi-Lopez has competed for a national award. In 2011, she was one of 12 winners for Maurice’s Main Street Model Search, a modeling competition for “real girls in all sizes” who desire to make a difference and have interests in fashion.