BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — Fifteen rising seniors are still in the running in this year’s West Virginia Scholar program sponsored in part by West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews.
The 15, who recently finished their junior years in high school, were selected from dozens of applicants.
“It’s such a talented group of students that applied for this award,” Wesleyan Vice President for Enrollment Management John Waltz said Tuesday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.” “I think of all of the applicants the average GPA was a 3.6 and the average GPA of our finalists was a 3.9 and 11 of those finalists have a GPA of 4.0 or higher.”
Waltz is always quick to point out academic achievement isn’t the only thing that’s being reviewed. He said co-curricular work and the students’ essays along with other factors play a role. He said the essays the group of finalists are impressive.
“It’s really amazing to see them reflect not only on the pandemic, on social issues, on a lot of different things and some of the things we were able to read here gave us such hope,” Waltz said. “A lot of their desire, really among the whole group, is to live and work and improve the state of West Virginia.”
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) June 30, 2020
The student chosen gets a four-year full scholarship to Wesleyan.. The second prize is a four-year $5,000 scholarship and third prize is a four-year $2,500 scholarship. The West Virginia Scholar program is in its 13th year. Fifteen finalists were chosen this year instead of the usual 10. The application period of extended because of the pandemic.
Voting on the MetroNews website begins next Monday, July 6, and will continue through July 31. The winners will be announced at a luncheon scheduled for the Wesleyan campus in Buckhannon in early August.
Joining West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews as sponsors are the West Virginia Hospital Association, ZMM Architects & Engineers, West Virginia Farm Bureau, Friends of Coal, and RCB Wealth Management.
The 15 finalists in alphabetical order:
Hailey Cox Shady Spring High School
Emma Dotson Bridgeport High School
Melody Garrett Lewis County High School
Abigail Hannan Elkins High School
Davis Haynes Ripley High School
Alexander Heath Musselman High School
Abigail Judy Winfield High School
Macy McKnight Sissonville High School
Quinn Raffo Richwood High School
Eden Reynolds Cross Lanes Christian School
Laruen Roush Ripley High School
Alex Thompson Philip Barbour High School
Allison Vance Washington High School
Miranda Vaughn Cabell-Midland High School
Peyton Whitt James Monroe High School