Three ASMSA students selected as QuestBridge College Match Scholarship recipients

1 month ago

Three seniors at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts have been selected to receive a QuestBridge College Match Scholarship.

Saoirse Disney-McKeethen of Fayetteville, Lauren McMillan of Hot Springs and Eden Tibebu of Stuttgart were selected to receive scholarships through the program. QuestBridge is a nonprofit organization that connects exceptional low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities. QuestBridge works with top universities across the country to offer full scholarships to deserving students who may otherwise be unable to afford to attend those institutions.
 
QuestBridge partnered with 40 colleges and universities this year to offer scholarships, including institutions such as Duke University, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame and Yale University.
 
Students apply for the scholarships through the Common Application, which is used by many educational institutions for admission. QuestBridge applicants write an essay to accompany the application. They may list up to eight of the partner schools at which they would like to be considered for admission.
 
Disney-McKeethen received a scholarship offer from Rice University in Houston. She said she applied to the school because of its strong undergraduate focus, the diversity of its students and the opportunities for biological research. She plans to major in biochemistry and to pursue a career as a scientific researcher in areas such as viral genetics and bioengineering of genes and proteins.
 
McMillan was matched with the University of Chicago, where she plans to major in English Language and Literature. She wants to eventually earn her Ph.D. and become a professor. She is familiar with the campus and the school’s instructional style after spending three weeks there this past summer, she said.
 
Tibebu received a match with Washington University in St. Louis. She plans to double major in engineering and international relations. She plans to work with Engineers Without Borders and the United Nations to help develop third- and second-world countries around the globe.
 
Each student said the scholarship will offer them opportunities to continue their education to reach goals that might not have been possible otherwise.
 
“To me, being awarded this scholarship means opportunity,” McMillan said. “It means going beyond anything I ever thought I could achieve and seeing the world like never before. It’s having the means to be the best scholar that I can be. That’s priceless.”
 
Disney-McKeethen shared a similar thought.
 
“For me, receiving the scholarship is the realization of my lifelong goal of going to college and the opportunity to pursue a subject I love,” she said. “My first reaction after seeing I had been matched was disbelief, and then a giddy sense of joy.
 

“It felt like the payoff of 12 years stressing about grades, studying for standardized tests and trying to balance my extracurriculars and my schoolwork. It was a weithg being lifted off my shoulders, knowing that my family’s financial situation was no longer a barrier to my continued education.”

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