BUCKHANNON, W.Va.¬†—¬†Hedgesville High School student Megan Meyer looked at her mother moments before her name was announced Wednesday as this year’s winner of the West Virginia Scholar Program.

“First thing I kind of thought was I was just happy to make my mom proud because she was looking over at me and smiling and she started to tear up,” Meyer, 17, said shortly after Wednesday’s luncheon at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Meyer was chosen from 10 finalists who were recognized as some of the top juniors in the state. The scholarship to Wesleyan is a free ride. It will pay the tuition, fees, room and board for Meyer and for the runners-up $5,000 and $2,500 awards.

The scholarship is worth $160,000 to Meyer.

“The late nights of studying and prepping for the test and the countless clubs and the activities and community service have finally led up to this one moment. It’s overwhelming,” Meyer said.

Meyer, who lives in Martinsburg, said she plans on pursuing a nursing degree. She said she has a brother with a severe peanut allergy. She said that and other health needs in her family have led her toward the health care field.

“I want to understand why. I want to be able to help them. If I can’t help them I want to be able to help everyone else,” she said.

Meyer said her father’s been telling her about the West Virginia Scholar Program for a few years.

“He listens to (MetroNews “Talkline” Host) Hoppy (Kercheval) on his way to work and so he’s known about the scholarship since I was a freshman in high school,” she said.

Meyer said she’s looking forward to her senior year at Hedgesville and then beginning at Wesleyan in the fall of 2020.

“It’s such a beautiful campus and everyone here has been great,” she said.

Also at Wednesday’s luncheon, Sophia Triplett from Elkins and Elkins High School was named first-runner up and Garrett Davis from Jane Lew and South Harrison High School, second-runner up.

The 2019 WV Scholar Program is sponsored by The WV Farm Bureau, ZMM Architects and Engineers, West Virginia Hospital Association, AIP Architectural Interior Products, West Virginia Coal Association, RBC Wealth Management, Friends of Coal, West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews.