West Virginia University has offered the prestigious Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship to 20 of the states top-performing high school seniors.

WVU President Mike Garrison recognized the students during a special ceremony today (April 9) at Blaney House.

Bucklew Scholars bring energy, intellectual curiosity and a passion for achievement with them to campus,Garrison said.They truly enrich our university.

The Bucklew Scholarship, valued at more than $24,400, provides each student with more than $6,000 per year toward educational costs during their four years at WVU .

The scholarship is named after its creator, Neil S. Bucklew, who served as WVU s 20th president from 1986 to 1995. The scholarships are part of the Universitys comprehensive awards program and are supported, in part, by the WVU Foundation Inc.

The 2008 Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship recipients are: Colleen Beatty , Upper Tract, Pendleton County High School; Brittney Benchoff , Morgantown, University High School; WilliamWillBrezinski , Athens, PikeView High School; DanielChantzBrummage , Fairview, Clay-Battelle High School; BenjaminBenFouts , Bridgeport, Bridgeport High School; KatherineKatieHoracek , Grafton, Grafton High School; Garrett Hunter , Wheeling, Wheeling Park High School; Mark James , Bruceton Mills, Preston High School; Kelli Jarrell , Dry Creek, Liberty-Raleigh High School; Chelsea Knotts , Ripley, Ripley High School; Laura Lee , Beckley, Woodrow Wilson High School; EugeneElliottLewis , Mineral Wells, Parkersburg High School; Anna McClung , Westover, University High School; Kaitlyn McKitrick , Wheeling, Wheeling Park High School; Adly Noore , Morgantown, Morgantown High School; Paige Parrack , Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant High School; Emily Pino , Oak Hill, Oak Hill High School; Brittany Ratcliff , Burnsville, Braxton High School; Steven Robison , Charles Town, Hedgesville High School; and Stephanie Welsh , Wheeling, Wheeling Park High School.

These 20 students are now eligible for WVU s top academic award, the Foundation Scholarship, which is awarded to the top five Bucklew Scholars and valued at over $50,000. The finalists will be announced May 6 by Gov. Joe Manchin and University officials at a ceremony at the Charleston Capitol Complex.

Bucklew Scholars:

Colleen Beatty is from the small town of Upper Tract, but she is planning her future on a global scale.

Beatty will graduate at the top of her class at Pendleton County High School and will major in biology at WVU . Her plans then call for medical school, but she also wants to invest time in volunteering abroad.

Since I was young, I have heard my parents recount their adventures in the Peace Corps in Bahrain and talk about their work in other Middle Eastern countries,she said.Listening to their stories has instilled in me the value of appreciating other cultures. As I plan my career in the medical field, whether as a doctor or a medical researcher, I want to create time for overseas work and service.

Beatty has been active in the field of science and has attended the National Science and Humanities Symposium in San Diego. A participant in several regional science fairs, she has also received top awards in the West Virginia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Eastern Regional Science Fair and state social studies fair.

Beatty has served the student body at PCHS as president of the senior class, a Homecoming representative and a member of Student Council. She is a member of the National Honor Society and National Beta Club, and she attended the Governors Honors Academy.

She has taken advanced honors courses in chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and Spanish.

Beatty has been active in extracurricular activities including sports, music and the 4-H Club. She ran on the varsity track team and was co-captain of the varsity volleyball team. She was first chair/first trombone for the PCHS Marching/Concert Band and serves as a pianist at the Mt. Hope Lutheran Church. Her involvement in 4-H includes serving in several officers positions for the Upper Tract Producers 4-H Club, leading as a tribe chief at camp and participating in community service and learning experiences.

She is the daughter of William and Lynn Beatty.

Brittney Benchoff of Morgantown will graduate first in her class from University High School. In the future, she would like to be thought of asMother Natures lawyer.She wants to study environmental engineering at WVU and eventually attend law school.

Benchoff has taken five Advanced Placement courses: English, English literature, physics, calculus and U.S. government and politics.

She has played an active role in improving the area for local teens through her involvement in the Greater Morgantown Area Youth Commission, a group of local teens committed to community service, political advocacy and project implementation.

We take a role in our community to make sure that the voice of the teenage population does not go unheard,she wrote in her Bucklew Scholarship application.A large portion of the youth commissions time is devoted to community service. Since I was elected to the commission in September 2006, I have been credited with 150-plus hours of community service time.

Benchoff also is a National Merit finalist, U.S. Senate Youth Program finalist, Presidents Volunteer Service Award recipient and The Dominion Post honors student.

She has earned a place in the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, National Honor Roll and Mu Alpha Theta national mathematics honorary. She also participated in the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and was a Wendys High School Heisman nominee.

Her passion for sports has led to her playing on the high schools varsity volleyball team, the Penn Highlands volleyball club and a softball team. She was a special honorable mention for the All-State volleyball team, and her team was first-team All-Conference for the North Central Athletic Conference.

She is the daughter of J. Bryan and Karen Benchoff.

Second in his class at PikeView High School, WilliamWillBrezinski of Athens plans to major in chemistry.

He has prepared by taking Advanced Placement classes at PHS and college-level courses in math, engineering and robotics at WVU , Loras College and Bluefield State College.

When not studying, Brezinski enjoys volunteer work. He has helped with church service projects, the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Adopt-A-Highway program.

Throughout my life, community service has been a recurring theme,he wrote in his Bucklew Scholarship application.From river cleanups with my parents as a toddler to my Eagle Scout project organizing a Red Cross blood drive, I have always endeavored to be a public servant.

Academic awards include the National Honor Society,AHonor Roll, Presidential Education Award and numerous 4-H honors.

While in high school, Brezinski has held leadership roles in 4-H, and he has been a member of the swim, soccer and power lifting teams, along with the Debate Club. He is also second chair trumpet for the school marching band.

His parents are William and Carrie Brezinski.

Daniel Brummage of Fairview goes by the nickname,Chantz,which is pretty fitting. Not one to shy away from challenges, the student body president has taken many chances and found success.

Take student government, for example. Brummage has served four years on the Student Council, striving to make his school a better place for students and faculty. During his tenure, he raised funds for Make-A-Wish, managed Homecoming Week festivities and pushed for changes to the lunchtime policy.

And thats just the tip of the iceberg. As president, hes organizing campus blood drives, a large fundraiser for St. Jude Hospital and a fundraiser/awareness campaign for Guillain-Barre Syndrome this semester.

Besides Student Council, hes active in SADD and the Pep Club, chairs his schools National Honor Society and serves as vice president of the Leo Club. He also puts together the weekly bulletin and volunteers at vacation Bible school and church camp at his hometowns United Methodist Church, coaches a fifth-grade basketball team and volunteers at nursing homes, among other service activities.

Brummage currently ranks first in his senior class at Clay-Battelle High School, with numerous Advanced Placement credits under his belt in math and civics. His resume also includes an impressive list of college credits and honorsNational Honor Roll, West Virginia Governors Honors Academy, Hugh OBrian and Rotary International youth leadership conferences, Whos Who Among American High School Students, United States Achievement Academy, Mountaineer Boys State and the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe.

Brummage plans to major in biology at WVU . If he receives a Foundation Scholarship, he would use the academic enhancement stipend to volunteer at a medical clinic in a war-torn, poverty stricken country such as Sudan or Sierra Leone as a step toward a possible career in medicine.

This life-changing excursion would open my eyes even more to the purpose of the profession, effects of genocide and reality of the worldnot to mention, provide clinical experience and the gratification of serving less fortunate individuals,Brummage said.

His parents are Daniel and Kimberly Brummage.

Scouting has been an important part of BenjaminBenFouts background and has provided him with valuable experience in giving back to his community. He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was named his troops senior patrol leader, the highest leadership position in the scouts.

The Boy Scouts of America has left the most positive impact on me in addition to allowing me to give back to the community,he wrote in his Bucklew Scholarship application.At a young age, I was able to learn to value the right qualities and set my standards high. In retrospect, I can now see how the Boy Scouts of America helped to shape and mold me into the ambitious young man I am today.

The Bridgeport High School senior will graduate first in a class of about 200 and plans to major in chemical engineering at WVU . He has prepared for college by taking Advanced Placement courses in English, psychology and calculus.

Fouts has already developed an impressive list of science honors including top finishes in the American Chemical Science Chemistry Olympics, National High School Chemistry Exam, National Science Bowl Hydrogen Fuel Cell King of the Hill Challenge, state AAA geography challenge and a national quiz bowl. He has also participated in the WVU Engineers of Tomorrow program.

In addition, Fouts has been active in student government and the Chess Club, and he was co-captain of the varsity soccer and tennis teams. He is a member of the Junior Engineering Technical Society and National Honor Roll, and he received the key to the city of Bridgeport.

He is the son of Billy and Marianne Fouts.

KatherineKatieHoracek of Grafton plans to major in engineering at WVU and would like to study abroad as part of the German Academic Exchange Service Research Internships in Science and Engineering.

By doing this, I would not only benefit from the cultural exchange, but also acquire necessary technical skills relating to the laboratory,said Horacek, who will graduate fourth in her class at Grafton High School.As an undergraduate at WVU , I intend to take as many classes as possible in the German language in addition to majoring in engineering, so this internship would be a perfect combination of my areas of interest.

Horacek has been an active member of the Grafton High Marching, Concert and Jazz bands all four years of high school. She has served as treasurer of Key Club, captain of the soccer team and a member of the tennis and Science Bowl teams.

Awards include National Merit finalist, Governors Honors Academy, National Honor Society, Rotary Club Student of the Month and All-State Band.

In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with the Humane Society of Taylor County. She also plays the organ at her church.

Her parents are Thomas Horacek and Valerie Nussear.

Dont be surprised if you see Garrett Hunters name on a ballot someday.

Ranked fourth in his senior class of about 400, this National Merit finalist from Wheeling has big political ambitions. His long-term goal is to obtain a position in state government. Thats why it comes as no surprise to family and friends that he would use the academic enhancement stipend to fund an internship at West Virginias state Capitol building if he wins a Foundation Scholarship.

The experience would allow me to witness firsthand the workings of our state government and to get my feet wet as a young, innocent member of the governmental process,he said.

During his time at Wheeling Park High School, Hunter has picked up valuable leadership skills that will help him as he pursues a political science major. As house minority leader at West Virginia Boys State, he debated dozens of bills, developing his public speaking skills, and he gained confidence through his debate team experience.

Hunters resume includes several Advanced Placement classesworld history, English, political science, physics, human geography, English literature and calculusand impressive finishes in state and regional Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Junior Engineering Technical Society Test Competition and Math Field Day.

Hunters extracurricular activities have also included the National Forensics League, National Honor Society, West Virginia 21st Century Jobs Cabinet (student representative), varsity and junior varsity track teams, Political Awareness Club (treasurer), Leadership Wheeling and Judicial Scholars Program.

Outside of the classroom, he has been a volunteer with the Special Olympics, Energy Express Reading Program, American Cancer Society and Ohio Valley Medical Center, and he assists with mass at St. Marys Church.

Hunters been recognized as the Student of the Month in foreign language, language arts, business and science at WPHS , and he received the George E. Stifel Award.

His parents are Debora and Gregory Hunter.

Mark James will graduate first in his class of 330 students at Preston High School and plans to major in aerospace and mechanical engineering at WVU .

Having earned the level of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, James initiated a community service project that involved replacing several community membersmailboxes to improve access and safety.

While this program was important to others, I believe that it was also extremely beneficial to me as this project was my first true test of leadership,he said.As per the Eagle Scout requirements, I led the entire project by planning removals, raising funds, purchasing materials and directing volunteers.

James was named a National Merit finalist and member of the National Honor Society. He has earned top positions in the Preston County Math Field Day and RESA VII Math Field Day. Additional honors include Honor Boy, Knight of the Round Table and Principals Honor Roll.

He has already completed some college course work at Fairmont State University including history, political science and English classes and taken calculus, chemistry and physics Advanced Placement courses through his high school.

Active in athletics, James was a senior leader for the cross country team and member of the track and field team. He has also been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and competed in the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission track and field events.

He is the son of David and Milinda James.

After graduating in the top 1 percent of her class at Liberty-Raleigh High School, Kelli Jarrell of Dry Creek hopes to study abroad in Europe to enrich her education.

Study abroad would not only offer a new dimension to my area of study, it would present an entirely different perspective of life,she said.As an engineering major, my education will consist primarily of math and science. Study abroad is a perfect supplement to this because there is no better way to study a different culture than to become part of it.

While in high school, Jarrell has been active in a variety of academic and athletic activities. She was named a National Merit Finalist and participated in Rhododendron Girls State, a model United Nations debate and several regional Math Field Day competitions. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council.

Jarrell has taken Advanced Placement courses in English and English literature to compliment her regular studies.

Outside of the classroom, she is involved in varsity track and field and varsity volleyball, and she skis on a competitive racing team. She also participates in cheerleading.

She is the daughter of Greg and Penny Jarrell.

When Chelsea Knotts graduates from Ripley High School in June, shell be first in her class of 230. The future exercise physiology major has worked extensively with Special Olympics and has learned much about the athletes and herself through the experience.

Its whats in the heart that counts,she said in her Bucklew Scholarship application.Im humbled to have been active with Special Olympics and feel blessed to have met these truly wonderful people.

While attending high school, she participated in Advanced Placement courses in chemistry, biology, calculus, psychology and U.S. History, among others. She was named an AP Rising Scholar, National Merit finalist and a state high school Heisman winner.

Knotts was named a Toyota Community Scholars semifinalist, Presidential Scholar of America candidate and a Rotary Youth Leadership award winner. She has participated in several county Math Field Day events and was an academic team conference champion.

She is president of her senior class, vice president of her schools National Honor Society and captain of the track and cross country teams.

Her parents are Stephen and Melinda Knotts.

Laura Lee of Beckley will graduate first in her class of 310 students from Woodrow Wilson High and plans to major in biochemistry at WVU .

Her goal is to one day travel to Korea, the homeland of her parents, to better understand the culture and history of the country.

Given the opportunity to travel, I would experience Koreanot only the modern culture, but also the ancient,she said.I could continue my education with language and history classes at a Korean university and hopefully boast of literacy by the end of my journey. More importantly, perhaps, some answer to the perpetual question of identity would surface while treading the earth of my ancestors.

Lee has been named an AP Scholar and National Merit finalist. She participated in the Governors Honors Academy, Rhododendron Girls State, a regional Math Field Day and Geography Bowl team.

She has taken Advanced Placement courses in biology, history, English, chemistry, physics and others.

An aspiring writer, she was a Key Club convention essay winner and received the highest possible score in the 2006 West Virginia writing assessment.

Active at her high school, she has held leadership roles in the Key Club, student government and Latin Club, and she is a member of the varsity tennis team.

She is the daughter of Dr. Jung Kuk Lee and Yesun Lee.

After graduating in the top 2 percent of his class at Parkersburg South High School, EugeneElliottLewis of Mineral Wells plans to study chemical engineering.

He has taken Advanced Placement classes in chemistry, calculus and English, and he conducted research on environmental technologies in Europe, where he hopes to study abroad.

His academic accomplishments include the Presidents Award for Academic Excellence, Governors Honors Academy, National Honor Roll, National Honor Society and Quiz Bowl honors.

Lewis has participated in numerous extracurricular activities including the tennis team, Bible Club, Key Club, chamber and concert choirs and Madrigal Singers. He also is serving as vice president of his senior class.

Community service is important to Lewis. He has volunteered at St. Josephs Hospital, Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, the Human Society of Parkersburg and the Salvation Army. Last summer, he volunteered as a counselor at Camp ECHO , a weeklong summer camp for people with disabilities.

It was the absolute longest, most exhausting, most rewarding week of my life,Lewis wrote in his Bucklew Scholarship application.I learned to throw away any preconceived notions of people with handicaps. That whole week was one of the biggest life-changing experiences.

His mother is Cheryl Lewis.

Poised to graduate at the top of her class, Anna McClung has made a name for herself at University High School.

The Westover student has taken part in a wide variety of activities in the areas of music, dance, athletics and academics. These include being first violin in the school orchestra; treasurer of the National Honor Society; student body vice president during her junior year; class treasurer for two years; and a member of the swim and dance teams, Fellowship of Christian Teens, Science Club and a competitive dance group.

McClungs honors and awards are just as diverse: Mu Alpha Theta math honorary, National Honor Society, Chemistry Achievement Award, art contest winner, finalist for the U.S. Senate Youth Program, Student of the Month at University High and strong finishes at regional dance competitions. Shes also participated in Hugh OBrian Youth Leadership, Rotary International and Math Field Day.

One of her favorite activities has been teaching dance to youngsters at Performing Arts Academy.

With 15 excited little girls per class, it can be challenging trying to keep their attention on me, instead of on each other,she wrote in her Bucklew Scholarship application.Yet, I have learned a lot from the experience. I have mastered multitasking and learned the importance of patience. The young girls look up to me as a dancer and role model. Its a huge responsibility.

That ability to multitask will come in handy as McClung pursues an engineering major at WVU . She already has a lot of practice, juggling a number of Advanced Placement classes (calculus, English, U.S. history, physics and U.S. government) along with community service activities such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army, volunteering at church, helping kids with their homework, preparing meals for the homeless and more.

If McClung wins a Foundation Scholarship, she would like to use the academic enhancement stipend to study abroad.

Her parents are Valerie and Will McClung.

Kaitlyn McKitrick hails from Wheeling, but she considers herself a citizen of the world. That is to say, she wants to see as much of it as she can, while helping as many people as she can along the way.

The Wheeling Park senior, who will graduate seventh in her class of about 400, has hit upon two seemingly different majors that manage to sum up her global philosophy: music performance and chemistry.

Why the two? For starters, McKitrick has a definite love for music, and when she was named field commander of her schools marching band, she surprised herself by showing she also has an aptitude for leadership.

I loved the responsibility our director placed in me when he allowed me to run rehearsals,she said.It showed me I could definitely handle a leadership position without letting people down.

But while music is for fun, McKitrick has a bent for science thats nothing but serious. Shes a past nominee to the National Leadership Conference on Medicine, and she holds a seat on the youth board of her communitys American Cancer Society Chapter.

She is a National Merit finalist, Presidential Scholar candidate and member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. She has participated in the Governors Honors Academy and All-State Orchestra, and she was concertmistress for a regional honor band.

McKitrick has taken Advanced Placement courses in English, English literature, U.S. history, government and calculus.

Her parents are Thomas and Susan McKitrick.

Adly Noore of Morgantown plans to major in biology at WVU .

One of his most memorable experiences was a restoration project at Coopers Rock State Park. He spent a month developing a project plan, writing letters to local businesses for equipment donations and recruiting help from the community. He and other volunteers loaded debris and broken tree trunks onto trucks to take out of the park, cleaned the interior walls of the pavilions and picked up trash scattered throughout the trails.

I felt so passionate about this endeavor that I undertook this major effort as my Eagle Scout project,Noore said.After the project was completed, it meant a lot to see everyone united under the common goal of preserving the inherent beauty of the park that will be cherished from generation to generation.

Noores activities at Morgantown High School include the NASA Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program, Boy Scouts of America, Governors Honors Academy and National Honor Society, among others.

He took first place on the Monongalia County Math Field Day Team and also placed in the regional competition with the Varsity Junior Engineering Technology Society Team. He was named an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and reached the gold level for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Noore has been active with the schools Robotics Team, Math Honorary Club, Science Honorary and other groups. He has completed seven Advanced Placement courses, as well as calculus at WVU . He is currently taking a differential equations class at the University.

Community projects include serving as a math and physics tutor, assisting senior citizens and participating in the Boys and Girls Club, Relay for Life and Salvation Army. He has designed a computer program to optimize the bus routes for Mountain Line Transit Authority and completed other research projects.

His parents are Afzel and Jabeen Noore.

Fifth in her class of 160 students at Point Pleasant High School, Paige Parrack of Point Pleasant plans to be an animal and nutritional sciences major at WVU .

As a drum major for her high schools marching band, she developed her leadership skills through practices, competitions, parades and community events.

My leadership abilities expanded exponentially,she said.I learned organization on a large scale, communication skills with a large group, peer dispute settlement, situation control techniques and the meaning of representing a historically proud group, while earning the respect and admiration of an entire community.

Parrack has been inducted into the National Honor Society and honored as a National Merit semifinalist. She attended West Virginia Girls State and received high placements in statewide science and engineering and social studies fairs.

She has taken several courses at Marshall University and Advanced Placement courses in English, physics and chemistry.

Her involvement in music includes first chair clarinet in the high school Concert Band and second chair clarinet in the All-County Band. She also performed in the Steel Drums Ensemble.

In addition, Parrack has been captain of the junior varsity soccer team.

She is the daughter of Jon and Tammy Parrack.

Vice president of both the National Honor Society and Student Council are just two of the leadership positions held by Emily Pino , a senior at Oak Hill High School who plans to major in international studies at WVU .

Pino of Oak Hill will graduate first in her class and hopes to study abroad in Egypt or Morocco to learn more about Arabic culture. She has prepared by taking several Advancement Placement classes including English, chemistry and calculus.

Not only would I grow in understanding of the Arabic worldhopefully, the Arabs would comprehend American ideals more fully as well,Pino said.I believe that living in an environment that is completely different from the one I am accustomed to would also teach me to appreciate the freedoms and lifestyle I have in West Virginia.

Among her many academic accomplishments are the National Merit Scholarship, Governors Honors Academy, National Society of High School Scholars and Whos Who Among American High School Seniors.

While in high school, Pino has been involved in soccer and tennis, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hi-Y, Natural Helpers, Teen-Age Republicans and the Language Club.

She is active in her church as a choir member and nursery helper, and she has volunteered at Hidden Valley Nursing Home.

Her parents are Steve and Cynthia Pino.

National Merit finalist Brittany Ratcliff is a multitalented student from Burnsville whose honors include the Dale Hawley Leadership Award; first place in the state High School Media Challenge her sophomore year; strong finishes in the Regional Science Bowl and Math Field Day; and first place in the West Virginia Young WritersContest.

Ratcliff, who plans to major in biochemistry at WVU , is also the recipient of a handful of United States Achievement Academy National Leadership and Service Awards, and she was selected for the Governors Honors Academy, school and national honor rolls, Whos Who Among American High School Students and National Honor Society.

At Braxton County High School, she has held many leadership positions: president of the Student Council, marching band field commander, captain of the Science Bowl Team and Academic Bowl Team and member of the Senior Leadership Committee.

Her musical talents have landed her spots as principal flute and piccolo in the Concert and Pep bands and pianist for the Jazz Ensemble. She also plays the piano for the Burnsville United Methodist Church.

Giving back to the community has always been important to Ratcliffwhether its been organizing a cleanup day at the Braxton County Senior Center, participating in Relay for Life, donating gifts to the less fortunate or serving as a Red Cross blood drive volunteer.

That passion for helping others will also play a role in how she spends her academic enhancement stipend, if named a Foundation Scholar.

I would travel to Africa,she wrote in her Bucklew Scholarship application.Traveling with a humanitarian organizationwould allow me true insight into conditions faced by some of the worlds must unfortunate citizens and would provide me a chance to aid them as I prepare for a life of helping others.

Ratcliff will graduate first in her class of about 150 students. Shes completed a couple of Advanced Placement coursesEnglish literature and English language and compositionand several college-level courses in history and music at Glenville State College.

She is the daughter of Lisa Ortega and granddaughter of Ronald and Jo Ann Smith.

Steven Robison of Charles Town is interested in political affairs. He has taken on leadership roles at Hedgesville High School, having served as president and vice president of the Student Government Association.

Leading the student government is supremely important to me for the impact I have had upon peers and adults alike,said Robison, who plans to major in political science at WVU .It has allowed me to inspire others, and it has taught me that true leadership is not autocracy, but cooperation and inspiration.

His awards and activities at Hedgesville include the Eagle Students Outstanding Achievement Recognition Award, Math Field Day, Governors Honors Academy and Advanced Placement Rising Scholar, among others. He won first place for math in his schools science fair, and he has taken several Advanced Placement courses, including English, history, psychology, calculus and statistics.

In addition to sharing his talents with student government, Robison has held leadership roles in Model United Nations and the National French Honor Society. Community activities include the United Way Day of Caring, Red Cross Blood Drive and Soup Opera, a community kitchen.

His parents are Eric and Cynthia Robison.

Stephanie Welsh will bring an interesting insight to her major of political science when she enrolls at WVU this fall. Thats because shes already been a public servant.

The Wheeling Park senior, who will graduate fifth in her class of about 400, most definitely knows how to seize the day for the common good.

Shes president of her schools Habitat for Humanity Cluband when a planned building project fell through last Christmas, she scrambled to find someone deserving of the $1,400 the club had raised in a recycling drive.

That someone was a Mountain State soldier returning from Iraq with crippling injuries from a roadside bombing. The vet has limited mobility and can barely speak, Welsh said.

She led the club on a massive shopping excursion to a local retail store, filling cart after cart with holiday gifts, nonperishable food and gift cards.

Its very rewarding to know that I helped give back to a man who was willing to give everything for his country,she said.

Welsh has built an impressive resume of academic achievements. She is a National Merit finalist and a member of the National Honor Roll and National Honor Society. She has received a U.S. Achievement Academy Award, George E. Stifel Award and numerous top-place finishes in public forum debates throughout the region.

She has also taken Advanced Placement courses in English, U.S. history, Spanish, political science, calculus and human geography.

Her parents are Cynthia and William Welsh.

For more information about the Neil. S. Bucklew Scholarship, visithttp://www.arc.wvu.edu/Scholars_Office/in_state.html.