One student's a champion archer. The other has an interest in 3D printers and prosthetics. Both are engineering students at West Virginia University, and each will receive a $25,000 scholarship annually from the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program. Jeremiah Parsons, of Vienna, and Julie Peng, of Culloden, were honored for that achievement Monday at the West Virginia Capitol by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, D-W.Va.
Parsons and Peng are two of the 100 students nationwide to receive the scholarship. The scholarships are intended to reward students who succeed inside and outside the classroom and may need financial assistance.
Parsons is a Parkersburg High School graduate who has earned back-to-back high school state championships and a four-year all-state team placement in archery. He's currently a member of the WVU archery team and is coaching a junior Olympic archery team.
In the classroom, Parsons plans to major in computer engineering and minor in criminal justice. "I feel very honored to receive this award," Parsons said in a news release from WVU. "As one of thousands of people who applied, it is very humbling. This award will help me finish my degree at WVU and ultimately help secure our country working at the Department of Defense or National Security Agency."
WVU's second recipient, Julie Peng, was named one of WVU's 2013 Foundation Scholars last spring, an award reserved for the best and brightest West Virginia high school seniors. She graduated from Hurricane High School, where she was president of the National Honor Society and secretary of the Student Council.
Peng is pursuing a chemical engineering degree and hopes to attend medical school. "It comes to a point when it gets really hard, but this is definitely rewarding and it's definitely an encouragement to continue working hard throughout college. I know I can do great things as long as I continue with the hard work," said Peng.
The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program offers up to $25,000 per year for 100 first-time freshmen or existing college students, renewable up to four years and one additional year for those entering a qualified five-year engineering program. Consideration is given to first-generation, female, minority and military students.