One has aspirations to be a pro bono civil rights attorney and another wants to become an orthopedic surgeon. The other three also have dreams of careers in law, medicine and government service, and all have a keen desire to give back to the state through community involvement and leadership.
They are five of West Virginia’s outstanding high school seniorsnamed today (May 13) as West Virginia University Foundation Scholars.
Winners of WVU ’s top academic award, valued at more than $48,000 over a four-year period, receive all educational and living expenses, plus a stipend for study abroad, internships or other enriching educational experiences.
The members of the 2003-04 Class of WVU Foundation Scholars are: Ingrid Bohme of Williamson, Eric Lawrence of Keyser, Robert (Bobby) Moore IV of Barrackville, Matthew (Matt) Schessler of Charleston and Rose Simis of Fairmont.
Gov. Bob Wise commended the students for their accomplishments as high school students and wished them similar success in college and their chosen careers.
“These students have worked hard to achieve their dreams,”said Gov. Wise in a prepared statement.”Our state’s future lies with these students, and I am thrilled to see them further their education at WVU .”
“These five students represent the state’s most valuable resource,”said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.”They have excelled in the classroom, while holding leadership positions in student government and extra-curricular activities, volunteering for community service and pursuing challenging hobbies. We are pleased to offer our top scholarship to five of the truly best and brightest students in West Virginia.”
Eighty-five state high school students have received WVU ’s most selective scholarship since the program began in 1987.
“The West Virginia University Foundation is proud to sponsor this distinctive scholarship program,”said WVU Foundation President and CEO F . Duke Perry.”Raising funds for scholarships is central to the mission of the Foundation. We believe that our investment in WVU students is, indeed, an investment in the future of this state and our nation.”
The Foundation Scholar award, the keystone of the WVU Scholars Program, is restricted to West Virginia resident high school seniors who have attended West Virginia high schools and who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and exhibited unique leadership skills. Fifteen students were awarded the Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship several weeks ago (another four-year award valued at more than $20,000) and interviewed on the Morgantown campus in April. From those 15, these five were awarded the Foundation Scholarship. Here are brief glimpses of activities and achievements of WVU ’s newest award recipients:
Ingrid Allison Bohme is the daughter of Mary Jane Bohme of Williamson, Mingo County College has never been an option for Ingrid Bohme; it has been a lifelong goal. Looking over her academic, extracurricular and community service record at Williamson High School, there is no question she has worked to prepare herself for the rigors of college life.
“My mother taught me early on in life about the importance of getting a college education, and has encouraged and helped me along the way,”she said.
Winning a Foundation Scholarship is the culmination of years of study and hard work for Bohme.
“This has shown me that everything I’ve done in my high school career was important,”she said.
Bohme is valedictorian of her senior class and also serves as vice-president. As a member of the academic team, she was a finalist in tournaments held in Kanawha and Clay Counties.
“I have an urge to excel in everything I participate in,”Bohme wrote in her scholarship application.”I believe that if I am going to put my heart, soul, time and energy into a project, I want it to be the best possible.”
As a member of the Key Club and her church youth group, Bohme has been involved in community food and gift drives. She also has volunteered for home improvement projects for the less fortunate and elderly in her community.
Bohme is a member of the Williamson High drama department, and was a candidate for Homecoming Queen last year.
She has attended the Governor’s Honors Academy, Rhododendron Girl’s State and Camp Horseshoe Leadership Camp.
In her spare time, Bohme enjoys reading, shopping and spending time with friends.
Bohme plans to major in philosophy at WVU . Her long-range goals are to attend the WVU College of Law, become a practicing attorney and raise a family.
“The variety of opportunities available at WVU is amazing.”Bohme said.”I’m really looking forward to getting involved and meeting new people.”
Bohme is the first student from Williamson High School to receive the Foundation Scholarship.
Eric James Lawrence is the son of James and Barbara Lawrence of Keyser, Mineral County While at Keyser High School, Eric Lawrence has immersed himself in academic, extracurricular and community activities. All of which, he says, has helped him to develop leadership skills and an appreciation for hard work.
He credits his parents-both teachers-and his sister Erin, a 2001 Foundation Scholar, for much of his success.
“They have been a huge factor in motivating me,”he said.”Their drive for success has been a great inspiration.”
Lawrence has played three sports (soccer, basketball and track) all four years of high school, serving his senior year as captain of the soccer team. In his scholarship application, Lawrence said of his involvement in athletics:”I learned that by striving to improve my own play, I had a major impact on motivating my teammates. I tried to lead by example.”
He has taken part in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program and Boy’s State, both of which he says allowed him to learn a great deal about leadership.
He is president of the Science Club, and a member of the drama and ski clubs as well student council.
Lawrence has taken AP and college level classes to better prepare him for what lies ahead and is a member of the National Honor Society and the math honorary Mu Alpha Theta.
When he is not busy with school work, he enjoys playing guitar and video games.
Lawrence has had an affection for WVU , especially its sports teams, since he was a youngster.
“I really didn’t look at any other colleges,”he admitted.”It’s obvious after touring the campus, WVU is investing for the future. The new Life Sciences building is just great.”
After attending the state’s flagship university, Lawrence hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon or a physical therapist.
“I really enjoy hands-on activity,”he said.”I want to work with people and help them.”
Lawrence is the sixth student from Keyser High School to earn the Foundation Scholarship.
Robert (Bobby) Wayne Moore IV is the son of Robert and Brenda Moore of Barrackville, Marion County Bobby Moore is quick to point out the influence his parents and grandparents have had on his life.
“Their work ethic has set the standard for me throughout my high school career,”he said.”They’re hard workers and I really respect that.”
Moore’s hard work in the classroom is evidenced by the fact that he is the valedictorian of his senior class at North Marion High School, taking a number of honors and advanced placement courses to better prepare for the demands of college.
He is vice president of the student body, president of Key Club, president of the North
Marion Civil Rights Team and editor of the school newspaper, The Husky Hotline.
He is also a member of the National Honor Society, secretary of Mu Alpha Theta (math honorary) and a member of the Geography and Spanish Club. .
Moore volunteers his time at the local hospital and at his church, and also teaches computer skills to senior citizens.
“Winning WVU ’s top scholarship means everything I’ve worked hard to accomplish over the past four years has paid off,”Moore said.
He says of the college experience that he hopes”to grasp on to each opportune experience,”and allow the University to teach the character and wisdom that Winston Churchill spoke so fervently about when he said that a university does more than saturate students with knowledge, but rather”accelerates the final transformation from girl to woman and boy to man.”Moore plans to major in international studies at WVU and perhaps attend law school or work in a branch of the federal government, such as the state department.
“Living close-by in Marion County, WVU has been a focal point of my family, he said. I’m really excited about establishing new relationships there. Everyone has been incredibly nice.”
Moore is the first student from North Marion High to earn the Foundation Scholarship.
Matthew (Matt) Joseph Schessler is the son of Michael and Susan Schessler of Charleston, Kanawha County High school is more than learning from textbooks and laboratory experiments for Matt Schessler.
This George Washington High School student has excelled not only in the classroom, but in extracurricular activities and community service.
Through the Beta Club, Schessler recorded over 80 hours tutoring fellow classmates in calculus, chemistry and English while taking advanced placement and honors courses in those subjects. He has spent numerous hours helping the elderly by shoveling snow from their driveways and doing yard work.
“My teachers challenged me in every class,”Schessler said.”They, and of course my parents, taught me that I need to work hard to get ahead in life. I’ve tried to do that in and out of the classroom.”
In his scholarship application, he wrote,”Tomorrow’s leaders arise from the ranks of those unafraid to challenge themselves by taking the highest level classes possible and striving to excel within those classes.”
Schessler has been a four-year varsity letterman for the GW football team and a member of the Teenage Republicans for 3 years, serving as treasurer.
Schessler attended Mountaineer Boy’s State, is a member of Who’s Who Among American High School Students and was a West Virginia semi-finalist in the Senate Youth Program. This year, he received the Advanced Placement Scholar Award.
He enjoys working out at the local YMCA and playing with his computer when time allows.
Schessler plans to study chemistry at WVU and would like to someday be a successful doctor with his own surgical practice.
On receiving WVU ’s top scholarship, Schessler said,”I plan to work hard, strive for excellence and serve the community. I want to be the best representative of WVU you can be.”
Schessler is the third student from GW to earn WVU ’s top award.
Rose Marie Simis is the daughter of Richard and Mary Simis of Fairmont, Marion County Actress, bassoonist, valedictorianRose Simis has worn all of these hats at just 17 years of age. Her interest in theater and music at Fairmont Senior High School is evident by her participation in seven school productions, the marching band and the concert band. She also is involved in the bell choir, youth group and pastoral council at her church.
Simis, who plans to major in business and Spanish at WVU , is a member of Spanish and Science Honoraries, the math honorary Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society.
Her honors and awards are many, including National Merit Finalist, top ten ranking in the Fairmont Senior High Math League and a member of the WordMaster’s Gold Team. She also was selected to attend the 2002 Governor’s Honor Academy and was a state qualifier at the Regional Thespian Festival.
This”army brat”has lived in many places, and says she has had influential teachers everywhere she has been. She credits her mother as well for having a positive influence on her life.
In her spare time, Simis enjoys listening to music, going to plays and reading. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis,
She hopes to bring her good study skills and willingness to try new things to WVU .
“I really like that it’s a big college in a small city,”Simis said of WVU .”People have been so nice here, and I really like the town.
Simis’dream is to someday become a lawyer and work for the Southern Poverty Law Center handling pro bono civil rights/civil liberties cases.
She writes in her scholarship application,”I want to make an impact in the world by earning my living at a job that can make a difference in people’s lives.”
Simis is the fifth student from Fairmont Senior to earn the Foundation Scholar award.