BRINGING REAL INCENTIVE TO EDUCATION: BRITE
Brite Scholarship Program

About Us


BRITE was started in 2009 and has slowly taken shape over the years. Here is a little more about us.


ASHWINI GILLEN, Co-Founder and Board of Directors
I love BRITE because it allows me to give back to our close-knit community of Half Moon Bay. It is an opportunity to help students who are eager to aim for more but need a little extra help. I work in high-tech sales and through BRITE I am able to put my Public Policy education to great use.
PATRICK GILLEN, Board of Directors
I got involved in BRITE because I saw how it had the potential to positively impact individual lives.  Growing up with parents who were very active in my hometown, I knew I needed to get involved in something that improved our community.  My business and sales experience is being put to work to support BRITE.
STEFANIE PAPPALARDO, Board of Directors
I’m involved with BRITE because I strongly believe in equity in public education.  BRITE’s mission to support Half Moon Bay High School students in achieving a clear path to furthering their education is simple and effective.  By working exclusively with deserving students who need extra mentorship and support to achieve their goals, BRITE makes a real difference in their educational experience as well as their future opportunities.
 
Stefanie is an elementary educator and mother of two daughters, both students in the Cabrillo Unified School District.  Prior to teaching, she was in sales and marketing in the medical device industry. 
ANNETTE MERRIMAN, Co-Founder
I am passionate about our Coastside Community. I co-created BRITE with a vision to continuously support and improve the well-being of coast siders. I am a professional working in the technology industry for the past 15 years. I am a serial innovator and creator. BRITE enables me to flex my creativity and support the youth of tomorrow.

*** April 2014 - A special thanks to Annette whose energy and drive helped launch BRITE Scholarship and gave it the momentum it has today. ***
KIRA GANGSEI, Academic and Student Advisor
I am the chair of the Half Moon Bay High School Counseling Department and counselor for students with last names A-G. I have been a part of the Cougar community since 2008, and it has been such a pleasure and honor to work with the amazing kids, families, and staff on the Coastside. It has also been such a pleasure to be a part of a dynamic and talented group of counselors, all of whom have a passion for working with youth.