Two members of the FH Class of 2019 have won the most sought after scholarships in Ohio. Asia McKenzie has been named an Eminence Scholar by Ohio State University and Faith Laughlin has been named on Ohio University Cutler Scholarship recipient. Additionally, McKenzie has been awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, one of only 100 scholarships granted nationwide.
McKenzie’s Eminence Scholar Award is the highest honor given to entering students at OSU. It includes full tuition (worth $28,000 a year), a $3,000 annual learning stipend, and fully paid summer experiences that include study abroad, internships, and research opportunities. According to OSU, “Students awarded the Eminence Scholarship are part of a select group of undergraduate Honors students that embark on a unique, four-year journey of academic rigor, service, and leadership. The program provides extraordinary opportunities and support for students that are ambitious and have high expectations for themselves. Eminence Fellows demonstrate academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, high regard for humanity, and significant involvement both on and off campus.”
McKenzie also won recognition as a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Award winner. This national award draws tens of thousands of applications and was narrowed to over 6,000 semi-finalists. McKenzie was one of only 100 scholarships awarded. “The students in this semifinalist cohort are some of the most high-achieving and driven in the country,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “They have achieved success well beyond that of many of their more advantaged peers, and we know they will accomplish far more in college and beyond.” This award is worth $40,000 per year for four years and includes seminars with fellow Cooke award winners around the country.
Laughlin’s Cutler Award is the sixth such award won by a Federal Hocking Senior. This award, the highest honor Ohio University bestows upon incoming students, includes full tuition and housing for four years. Additionally, students have two full semesters of international study, fully paid by OU and a $3,000 stipend for travel or enrichment experience of the student’s choice. “Cutler Scholars receive additional funding to support four enrichment experiences that develop confidence, increase awareness of differing international perspectives, and empower students to take initiative for the common good. There is one enrichment experience associated with each school year,” according to the Cutler Scholars information site.
“We are so incredibly proud of these two young women,” said principal Cliff Bonner. “They have both overcome personal obstacles that would have stopped many other kids in their tracks. And I cannot say enough about our staff and the support they have given these two on their journeys.”
According to Laughlin, who intends to major in applied nutrition, “I am beyond blessed to have received this award and it wouldn’t have been possible without all of the love and support I’ve received from the amazing staff at Federal Hocking. A special shout out to my band director Mrs. Olson for helping and celebrating with me every step of the way.”
McKenzie added, “I know I would not be attending any university in the fall if it weren’t for the supportive staff at FHHS. I have had to face adversities my entire life, such as poverty and homelessness, and the amazing community at Federal Hocking ensured that I didn’t have to face those adversities alone. They gave me the resources, support, and confidence I need to succeed despite the odds. When I was homeless I was able to turn to the staff at Federal Hockingfor help as it is one of the most caring networks of people I have ever encountered. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t attended FHHS and know this amazing staff and faculty. Because of them I have a bright future and I will forever be thankful for that.” She will be an avionics major at OSU.
Laughlin and McKenzie are co-Valedictorians for the FH Class of 2019 and will be featured speakers at Commencement on Sunday, May 26th.