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VHS Seniors Earn Full-Ride Scholarships

VHS Seniors Earn Full-Ride Scholarships

Valdosta High School seniors Juan Angel and Oluwatoni Salami will head to college in the fall on full four-year scholarships through the QuestBridge National College Match program, an initiative that connects America’s highest-achieving seniors to the nation’s top colleges and universities. They are two of only 1,674 finalists selected as a match scholarship recipient out of nearly 19,000 applicants nationwide. Juan will be heading to the University of Chicago where he plans to major in Political Science and International Relations. While Oluwatoni, will be heading to Houston, Texas and Rice University where she will be in their Pre-Med Program.

  “I was able to get into an amazing school without the fear of debt on my shoulders” said Oluwatoni, “This scholarship allowed me to take a huge leap into obtaining my goals and showing my younger siblings that they too can achieve success.”

“Receiving the QuestBridge Scholarship was extremely important to me – it meant that all of my hard work had finally paid off,” Being a positive role model to his community is something that has helped drive Juan’s success. “From my parents, I learned to take advantage of the opportunities available, which is why I push myself to be better and always strive for more,” said Juan.

Both students are in the International Baccalaureate program at VHS and have taken multiple AP classes as well.  The two students have been classmates and teammates over the years, on the Speech and Debate Team, in Model UN, BETA Club, the Valdosta Youth Council, and a variety of other extracurricular activities.  Additionally, both students were Governor’s Honors Program Finalists last summer, Toni in Chemistry and Juan in Social Studies. 

“Both Juan and Toni are exceptionally hard working students,” said Mrs. Pamela Childress, their Debate Coach, “They realized that to achieve their dreams it was going to take more than just earning A’s in their classes.  They chose early on in their high school careers to be active members of the school and Valdosta communities and it is due to their work in and out of class that they were able to earn these scholarships.”

"The achievements of our 2021 Match Scholarship Recipients are particularly exceptional in the midst of a year marked by challenging circumstances,” said Ana McCullough, CEO and Co-Founder of QuestBridge. “The fact that our college partners awarded a record number of scholarships this year bolsters our hope for a brighter, more equitable future.”

Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full four-year scholarships that are provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring that the students and their families are getting an affordable education at a top college.

This year’s Match Scholarship recipients hail from 48 states, including the District of Columbia, as well as the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.

These outstanding high school seniors are in the top 3% of their graduating class.

This full-ride scholarship is offered as part of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses for all four years that they attend their dream schools.