Seriously Smart: AMHS Scholarship Nominees


The day is September 9th, the year, 2015, and Senior William Pugh cautiously approaches the guidance office, his footsteps echoing throughout the empty halls and his heart pounding in his chest. As he reaches towards the handle of the door, his hands tremble and goose bumps stretch up his arms. On his first attempt at opening the door his hands are so sweaty that they slip. Today is a day unlike any other; today he submits his application for the Park Scholarship. Today, Will achieves greatness.

However, Will was not alone; twenty other anxious senior applicants had also poured their hearts and souls into applications, and submitted them to the guidance counselors. The three scholarships, Jefferson, Park and Morehead-Cain, award full tuition and fees to “the most promising leaders, scholars and citizens in the world.” In order to win the scholarships students must be nominated by their guidance counselors after filling out extensive application forms and information. The Morehead-Cain scholarship is particularly rigorous in that to be considered students must either live in the state of North Carolina or attend one of UNC’s nominating schools. Academic Magnet is one of 23 high schools in South Carolina eligible to appoint students. All of the scholarships are highly competitive and the process is highly selective.

The Morehead-Cain Scholarship, awarded to students wanting to attend UNC Chapel Hill, offers a full ride and “Discovery Funds to be used for education opportunities.” This scholarship targets “doers, thinkers, dreamers, and adventurers,” all of which could be used to describe Anne Rogers. This ambitious senior spent her summer in Honduras rebuilding a kindergarten, and says that she was amazed “to see all the things that one student and one school can accomplish.” In order to set herself apart from other applicants, Anne focused on her love of working with children throughout the application saying, “I love…making a positive impact in other people’s lives.”

The Jefferson Scholarship, at the University of Virginia, “has been attracting and cultivating undergraduate leaders since 1980.” Two Magnet students have been nominated for this prestigious award: Evey Adams and John Pavlides. Both stand to win $240,000 in scholarship money and an additional $56,000 stipend. In addition to monetary compensation, Jefferson scholars enjoy “an extensive enrichment program” including career counseling and foreign travel studies. Notable alumni from the University of Virginia include, Tina Fey, Katie Couric, Edgar Allan Poe and numerous other renowned scientists, politicians and businessmen and women. The scholarship is “awarded solely on the basis of merit,” and there is a comprehensive and stratified procedure. Last year, 34 individuals won the scholarship out of 1750 nominees. Evey and John are both uniquely qualified for this award.

Last but certainly not least, North Carolina State University’s Park Scholarship, “is a four-year scholarship awarded on the basis of outstanding accomplishments and potential in scholarship, leadership, service and character.” Our very own William Pugh and Joshua Isaacks applied and were selected to the pool of nominees from around the country. The scholarship covers full tuition, $175,000 out of state. While Pugh was the most proud of his community work regarding “diversity in education,” Isaacks boasts his “perfect attendance in the third grade.” Both applicants also applied for one of the other three scholarships, Pugh for the Morehead-Cain and Isaacks for the Jefferson, respectively. While disappointed in the lack of nomination for the Jefferson, Isaacks summed up his feelings by saying, “But hey, you can’t win ‘em all.” Park Scholars excel “in competitive or creative endeavors,” and “demonstrate the highest levels of integrity, honesty and conscientiousness.” Pugh and Isaacks exemplify these qualities through their hard work and dedication!

The Talon staff wishes the best of luck to all of the nominees!