Beginning with this article, NEHS is pleased to recognize the winners of the NEHS scholarships for 2013-2014. The William C. Johnson Scholarship is the top award from the Society, given to the student submitting the best essay based on the Common Reader for the year, which was The Well and The Mine by Gin Phillips.
William C. Johnson Scholarship ($5,000 each)
Smithfield High School
Amanda Laidler graduated from Smithfield High School and loves writing, chemistry, French, swimming and playing the flute. With a strong appreciation for excellence in literature, music, and the aesthetics of science, Amanda attends Brown University and is to pursuing a career in chemical engineering with an additional concentration in French. As a commended National Merit Scholar and having achieved a top class rank, Amanda’s approach toward learning and academics is a unique and authentic brand of collaboration which she brings to a variety of social, academic, and athletic interests. Amanda is looking forward to the balance of humanities and scientific research at Brown as she hopes to make contributions to both fields of science and writing.
Seton La Salle High School
I spent my four years of high school at Seton-La Salle, a Catholic high school five minutes from my house. My college plans are for a similarly nearby institution, as I will be attending the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus in my home city of Pittsburgh. I will be studying for a degree in political science, with a potential minor in economics. Although I haven’t chosen to be an English major, I intend to continue to pursue my love for literature and writing both in and out of the classroom.
Sports played a large part in my past four years of high school. I began the cross-country season my freshman year running on the varsity team, was an inaugural member of my school’s track and field club, and captained both my senior year. Non-athletic extracurriculars over my high school years included most prominently my four-year membership on the mock trial team, which inspired both my career goal of becoming a lawyer and my penchant for persuasive (often inadvertently argumentative) writing. Other activities of importance for me included my involvement in my school’s International Club—a club designed to integrate our foreign exchange students with their American peers—and my religious activities both in my parish, as an altar server, and at school as a Eucharistic minister for school Masses.
Students wishing to compete for the 2014-2015 scholarships must read the Common Reader and submit an essay based on NEHS-provided prompts. The deadline for receipt of the essays will be January 12, 2015; prompts will be posted on November 3, 2014.