5 WVU Foundation Scholars earn full ride to college

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — “Oh, I’ve been celebrating all day,” said Lindsey Keplinger with a smile and a laugh Monday.

The Braxton High School student is one of 5 top seniors in the state to be named a West Virginia University class of 2015 Foundation Scholar.

“I think that we’re going to out into the world to find ourselves. To have someone point us out of a crowd of qualified students coming from our beautiful state, it just means so much they selected us and said ‘We want you to come to our university’ out of all of the students that applied for this,” Keplinger added.

This year’s Foundation Scholars also include Kaitlyn Akers of Valley High School, Cristin Dolan of Wheeling Park High School, Noah LeGrand of Huntington High School and Abigale Gellner of St. Marys High School.

The students were chosen from 20 high school seniors to receive the Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship valued at $32,000 for four years of undergraduate studies.

They will also receive a $4,500 stipend for study abroad expenses.

“This does lift a huge weight off my shoulders. I would like to study abroad, possibly in Jerusalem, to study religious texts and really know the area as part of my interest in religious studies,” said Gellner.

According to WVU, the Foundation Scholars have interests ranging from making advancements in health care and improving the quality of life for those who suffer to influencing public policy.

Gellner plans to earn an undergraduate in science.

“With my biochemistry major, I would like to go on to medical school to be a pediatric neurologist or a pediatrician. That’s subject to change of course. But, that’s where I’m headed right now,” explained Gellner.

Keplinger also plans to go to medical school after she earns an undergraduate in biology. She has her eye on a study abroad program in Brazil.

“We live on this boat with other honor students and travel to isolated communities that don’t usually have access to health care. We bring it to them. I’m very excited about that,” Keplinger said.

The Foundation Scholarship was established in 1987.

“Just to have them recognize that hard work and determination in someone they don’t even know personally just means a lot to us,” according to Keplinger.

The 20 candidates for the scholarship were interviewed by a selection committee in April.

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