A Scioto County senior has received something only 106 high school students across the United States and Canada receive each year.
Lakin Brown, a senior at South Webster High School Senior has received the Horatio Alger National Scholarship for $25,000. She was chosen from a pool of over 40,000 students.
Her former junior high teacher, Mrs. Sandi Dutiel, was the one who brought this scholarship to Brown’s attention.
“She’s a phenomenal human being, excellent student, a hard worker, has excellent character and great work ethic that can take you anywhere in life,” said Dutiel of Brown. “I knew she would do it before I even took her the information. She’s resilient and started the Big Buddies program and hasn’t even graduated high school. She’s special.”
Since its founding in 1942, The Horatio Alger Association today awards more than $2.6 million annually through its national scholarship program, supporting young people across the United States and Canada who, despite facing adversities, remain committed to achieving educational success. These annual scholarships recognize outstanding students who, in the face of great personal adversity, have exhibited an unwavering commitment to pursue their dreams through higher education.
Brown’s plans upon graduation include plans to attend Berea College (Ky.) this fall with plans to double major in Psychology and Biology. Berea has a no tuition promise which means that students are not required to pay tuition. Her receiving Horatio Alger award will help pay for books and other materials, study abroad programs, and internships. Because of grants received through her application of the Federal Application of Financial Student Aid, Brown’s room and board will also be taken care of.
Brown not only received this illustrious scholarship, but also took part in what could only be described as a ‘Cinderella’ experience. The scholarship association flew each student awarded with the scholarship to Washington D.C. for the trip of a life time. Upon arriving in D.C., the association gave each student a per diem that they were to use on clothes for their trip.
“We left her Wednesday morning and came back early Sunday morning,” Brown recollected. “We stayed in the Fairmont Hotel, which is four and one-half stars and I thought it was so fancy. For some of our meals, we ate at the Ritz Carlton, which is a five-star hotel. There were ten students that were from Canada and I got to room with a girl from Canada, who had a service dog. We got to talk about different things from each of our countries.”
She said her favorite thing about the whole trip, was getting to meet Clarence Thomas, justice on the United States Supreme Court. In Thomas’ speech, he called us all heroes because “He couldn’t imagine what we have gone through.”
Brown told Thomas she would love to have a tour of the Supreme Court, which he responded that he would give her a tour while he was there.
Brown is the daughter of Barbara Brown and has attended the South Webster School District her whole life. Brown has two older sisters, Adrienne Loop, 26, works at SOMC; and Maddison Brown who works at Concord in Wheelersburg.
“The scholarship is a little different from your normal scholarship because it’s based on adversity. “I wasn’t trying to sell myself, I was just trying to talk about myself and tell my story,” Brown said.
Brown applied for the scholarship between August and September and was notified in that she was a semifinalist in December, right before Christmas break. It was during Christmas Break that Brown was given a call back to be told she was be given the scholarship.
Brown stated that while enrolled in college, she is considered a scholar by the association but upon college graduation, she will be considered an alumni and will have the opportunity to help the association at their yearly conference. While enrolled at Berea, Brown has been given contact information with those from the association to contact if she ever needs anything.
Brown works for Atomic Credit Union every Thursday morning at school and plays a major part in the National Honor Society. During her junior year, Brown helped start a program at the elementary school level called Big Buddies. When she’s not doing school work, Brown is either babysitting or helping out around the house in any way she can. Needless to say, Brown’s commitment to overcoming adversity has made her the perfect recipient to this prestigious honor.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3103 ext. 1928