State Fair Announces 2019 Scholarship Recipients
PALMER—The Alaska State Fair selected five high school students as recipients of the Alaska State Fair 2019 scholarships. This year, the Fair received 61 applications and awarded scholarships totaling $6,000.
1st place, $2,500: Sofia Main. Sofia is graduating this year from Service High School in Anchorage, and will pursue a bachelor’s of computer science degree at the University of Notre Dame. “I want to become a computer scientist to create more effective and affordable assistive technology. My firsthand experience of seeing how assistive technology helps students with disabilities educationally and socially pushes me to make assistive technology even better,” she said. In her Fair essay, Sofia proposed a new event titled “Garbage Can, Not Garbage Cannot,” which would involve high schools decorating Fair garbage cans with a goal to expand student participation in the Fair and provide enjoyable and educational art around the fairgrounds.
2nd place, $1,500: Maria Parez. Maria is a senior graduating from Service High School in Anchorage, and plans to attend the University of Rochester. She is also part of the Biomedical Career Academy, and volunteered 100 hours at Providence Alaska Medical Center last year. In her application essay, Maria explained her idea for a kids’ scavenger hunt at the Fair, in which young fairgoers would explore the fairgrounds, learning about Alaska history, animals and safety, and visit vendor booths, with a side benefit of increasing traffic and sales for participating vendors. “A scavenger hunt would serve as a great way to give families something to do at the Fair while educating children,” Maria wrote.
3rd place, $1,000: Collin Herbert. Collin is a senior at Colony High School in Palmer, where is he also a member of the Thee Colony High School Marching Band. After graduating, Collin will attend the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. “Music has become my life and my life goal. I want to gain as much knowledge as I can to come back to Alaska and inspire our youth here the way that I have been inspired,” he said. In his essay, Collin suggested an interactive musical exhibit showcasing different musical genres with information, instruments and hands-on activities, with a goal to “positively impact relational connections as well as educate the community on the history of musical genres.”
Honorable mention, $500: Citshiab Yang. Citshiab is a junior at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, and plans to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage. The first in her family to attend college, Citchiab’s career goal is to become a dermatologist. In her essay, Citshiab explained her idea for a booth at the Fair where she would share her Hmong culture through food, clothing, music and an informational poster. “I believe that my culture should be known,” she wrote. “Alaska is such a diverse community and the Fair brings everyone there. It is the best time to let others know who the Hmong people are.”
Honorable mention, $500: Wyatt Chadwick. Wyatt is a senior at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, where he will graduate as the school’s salutatorian this year. An athlete and Eagle Scout, Wyatt plans to attend Utah State University. In his humorous essay, Wyatt (who recently discovered his unique talent of balancing things like chairs on his chin) encouraged the Fair to create a balancing act to entertain fairgoers and give them an opportunity to try balancing for themselves. “Nothing is better than hearing someone walk around a corner and shout at you, ‘What the heck! You have a chair on your chin!’” Wyatt quipped.
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