North Carolina State University has named 55 students as Park Scholars for the Class of 2013. These prestigious awards are valued at nearly $75,000 for North Carolina residents and $130,000 for out-of-state students. More than 1,200 applications were received for this year’s class, and 200 NC State faculty and alumni reviewed the candidates in a three-stage selection process. More than 100 finalists were invited to participate in final selection activities.
The recipients include the creator of a Web site designed to link Greensboro youth to volunteer opportunities, a junior curator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, an all-state cellist, a former intern with the Barack Obama campaign, and the recipient of three President’s Volunteer Service Awards granted for giving more than 700 hours of community service. They have contributed to their local communities through organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels, and traveled as far as the Dominican Republic, the Gulf Coast and Ecuador on service trips. Recipients come from across North Carolina and 10 U.S. states.
To view the list of the fall 2009 (Class of 2013) Park Scholars (PDF file), visit http://www.ncsu.edu/park_scholarships/Recipients2013.pdf.
The Park Scholarships program is among America’s most prestigious undergraduate merit scholarship programs. The scholarship pays expenses for four years of study at NC State, and includes a computer stipend and funds for academic enrichment activities. On campus, scholars participate in a series of activities designed to hone their leadership skills and deepen their commitment to public service, from interactive learning labs in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., to a first-year leadership seminar and speaker series. Scholars can also apply for research and artistic grants or scholarships to study abroad.
“The Park Scholarships provide more than generous financial support,” says Eva Holcomb, director of the Park Scholarships program. “This is a community of thoughtful leaders and scholars dedicated to driving real social change. I have no doubt that this next class of Park Scholars will embody the principles of the Park Scholarships program – public service, intellectual curiosity and civic responsibility.”
The Park Foundation of Ithaca, N.Y., established the scholarships at NC State in 1996 with an initial gift to support 25 Park Scholars. The scholarships are named in honor of the late Roy H. Park, who died in 1993. Park was a distinguished alumnus of NC State and president of Park Communications Inc., a conglomerate of newspapers, television and radio stations that reached one-third of all American homes.
Since the program’s inception, graduates have gone on to receive competitive post-graduate awards such as Marshall, Mitchell, Fulbright and Goldwater scholarships, and to pursue studies at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Park Scholar alumni work at some of the world’s top companies and non-profit agencies, including Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco Systems, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, as well as the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“The Park Scholarships program helped develop the skills that have become so critical in my life after college,” said Carie Page, class of 2005 Park Scholarship recipient who received a Mitchell Scholarship for study in Northern Ireland after graduation. “I’ve quickly learned that the content delivered in class is only part of the puzzle. The real tools for success come from those unique relationships you build with mentors on campus, opportunities that you are given to broaden your perspective through travel and research, and rare people who can challenge you to push yourself and think more critically about your role in your community. For me, that came from the relationships and experiences created by the Park Scholarships program.”
Selection criteria for the merit-based Park Scholarships include academic achievement; personal characteristics such as character, integrity and motivation; exceptional leadership potential; and commitment to the betterment of one’s community. The scholarships are renewable each year, based on academic achievement and personal conduct.