BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — Ravenswood High School rising senior Julia McCoy says she never thought she’d be the next winner of the West Virginia Scholar Program when she filled out the application earlier this year.
“I didn’t think I had a chance at all actually,” McCoy said Wednesday. “I was really doing it for the opportunity and the practice for college and other applications because I was only a junior. I was doing it for practice.”
McCoy becomes the 14th West Virginia Scholar, an annual program sponsored by MetroNews, West Virginia Wesleyan and a number of other partners.
McCoy said she was shocked when her name was called at a luncheon Wednesday on the WVWC campus. She now possesses a four-year scholarship to the Buckhannon-based school.
“It was just a sigh of relief that I could go here,” she told MetroNews. “I was just so excited. It’s just a sigh of relief, everything in my life now I can do it.”
The four-year scholarship pays for tuition, fees, room and board. McCoy will be a freshman in the fall of 2022.
She said she’s leaning toward a nursing major.
“I have a lot of opportunities I’m looking into. Anything in the medical field is really in my interest,” she said.
McCoy was chosen from among 15 finalists who had an average GPA of 3.9. There were originally 60 high school juniors who applied this year representing 28 counties.
WVWC President Dr. Joel Thierstein said West Virginia Scholar day is one of the best days of the year on campus. In the 13 previous years, a large majority of the finalists have decided to become students at Wesleyan.
McCoy said knowing that college is paid for will be a big relief as she begins her senior year at Ravenswood.
“It’s just amazing I won’t have to think about that and I can enjoy my senior year feeling so happy,” she said.
WVWC will also award $5,000 and $2,500 scholarships to Keely Gregory, of Bruceton Mills, and Danica Propst, of Martinsburg, as the first and second runner-up, respectively.
Other sponsors of the program include Friends of Coal, High Technology Foundation, Lou Wendell Marine Sales, West Virginia Farm Bureau, West Virginia Hospital Association and ZMM Architects & Engineers.