OHS senior, Kilye Hucks, learned on Thursday that she is one of 450 high school seniors nationally who are recipients of a Hagan Scholarship.
According to their website, "The Hagan Scholarship is a nationwide need-based merit scholarship designed to help high-achieving students from small towns and rural areas graduate college debt-free. The scholarship provides up to $48,000 over four years to attend college. Free workshops, free Schwab brokerage accounts with a starting balance of $15,000, and free travel/study abroad provide recipients with a practical understanding of important life skills not typically covered in the school curriculum."
Hucks, the daughter of Kenny Hucks and Leslye Liu, plans to attend North Carolina State University and major in criminology (pre-law). The school ranks 8th in the nation for her major. She received her acceptance letter in January.
Scholarship recipients must have a minimum 3.75 GPA and be goal-driven. Hucks currently has a 4.0 at OHS and is involved in a variety of activities, including an officer in Torch Club (National Honor Society), president of Drama Club, is a TAG mentor at Evans Middle School, and is in show choir.
The process began in October with the initial application, which included a few essays, recommendations, etc. She was named a finalist in January and was required to submit additional essays and recommendations, along with an up-to-date transcript.
She credits OHS counselor, Kelci Eakins, for helping her throughout the process. "She gave me the scholarship information and said she thought I qualified," Hucks said. "She has been really supportive." Because Hucks is attending an out-of-state school, she is not eligible for the traditional scholarships many OHS seniors receive. Hucks spent the past several months applying for more than 20 scholarships. "It was a lot of essay writing," Hucks said.
According to Hucks, the pandemic hit her hard. "I enjoy learning but it's hard to enjoy school," she said. Many of her concurrent courses are virtual. "When there is no one there encouraging you to do it, it becomes difficult." The silver lining to this experience is that she feels better prepared for college. "I'm more independent," she said.
"I'm very excited," said Hucks. "It definitely brightened up a tough school year."