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Scholarship Winners Testimonials

Congratulations to the 2013-2014 United States Achievement Academy
Scholarship Foundation Scholarships.

The following are testimonials from the winners.

Brent Dyer, Hunter Middle School, Ooltewah, TN wrote:

I am so thankful that I have been bestowed such an honor by the Academy. I'm glad my social studies teacher nominated me for this award. I learned so much in her class about how the government works and the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. But above all, I learned about the ill-treatment of the Native Americans and the removal of their rights. I am thankful that my rights are still valid and that in this country students are rewarded for working hard in their academics. Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in this recognition program.

Kaitlin Gillespie, Western Alamance High School, Elon, NC wrote:

I was pleasantly surprised to have received a scholarship as a junior in high school. Most scholarships are only offered to high school seniors and the USA is such a wonderful organization to offer it to younger students who are committed to achieving greatness. I am so thankful to the USAA for choosing me out of all the other qualified candidates. It is truly a morale booster to feel recognized and has only encouraged me to continue working hard. Sometimes it feels like all your hard work goes unnoticed but the USAA has shown me that they noticed and have rewarded me for said hard work. I can only hope other students recognize this honor and apply for this scholarship too.

Abigail Heitzman, Holton Middle School, Holton, KS wrote:

Thank you for selecting me as one of your scholarship winners! I am very grateful for your time and consideration, and I appreciate the cash grant. In the past, I have won other small awards for essays and excellence in academics, but this is my first official scholarship, and I am very proud of it. I was anxious to receive word on whether or not I had been selected, and now that I know that I have been presented with one of your scholarships, I feel satisfied knowing that my hard work and effort has paid off. This is a wonderful program and it definitely encourages me to continue work harder and, as you say, continue my "pursuit of excellence." Thank you again.

Leonardo Trinh, Drakes Creek Middle School, Bowling Green, KY wrote:

II want to say "thank you”' for your selection of me as a USAA Scholarship winner. I take education seriously and hope to make my parents and teachers proud through hard work and dedication to learning. I have strong belief and utmost respect for studying hard and doing my very best in school so that I may have a successful career in the future and contribute back to society. That is my goal and a goal I plan to meet. Leaders have a responsibility for America's greatness tomorrow. I am honor to be a part of tomorrow's America. Thank you for your recognition of my dedication and commitment to learning and education

Carra Wu, Deer Path Middle School, Lake Forest, IL wrote:

I am so excited about receiving the United States Achievement Academy scholarship. I'm very grateful that my teacher nominated me for the award. I'll be in high school next year and this scholarship will come in handy to help me pay for the books or lab fee for an interesting class. Some scholarships cost money to apply. It didn't cost me anything to apply to the US Achievement Academy scholarship. Since I didn’t buy the Yearbook, I wasn’t expecting to receive the scholarship at all. This was a fantastic surprise thanks to the Academy. I'd encourage anyone with an excellent academic record and extracurricular activities to apply.

Ashley King, Lincoln Savage Middle School, Grants Pass, OR wrote:

It is beyond my wildest dreams to be recognized nationally by the USAA. Winning the scholarship has encouraged me to pursue my dreams in college, and it has assured me that all my studying and hard work will pay off. I would like to give thanks to my science teacher, Mr. Zurhellen who has helped me to gain my knowledge throughout the year. I really appreciate the scholarship USAA!

Abigail Rambo, South Side Middle School, Columbiana, OH wrote:

I was shocked and excited to read the letter saying I would be receiving a scholarship grant! Truly, I didn't think I had a chance to get anything. I would like to thank the USAA Scholarship Foundation, Mrs. Guarneri (my English teacher) and my parents for believing in me. I will work hard and do my best, to reach my goals and dreams.

Chris Kahlenbeck, Saint Clair Senior High School, Saint Clair, MO wrote:

Being awarded a place in the United States Achievement Academy is a huge honor and I am proud to have received this national recognition. To earn a scholarship then from ibis prestigious organization goes above and beyond my expectations. It's truly a wonderful feeling to know that USAA recognizes my achievements and has faith in my pursuit of excellence in everything that I do. Thank You USAA.

Jessica Laenger, Gulf Breeze Middle School, Gulf Breeze, FL wrote:

I am deeply honored to receive this recognition. I have been working very hard to achieve my academic success and this recognition helps make it all worthwhile. I am very excited because this is the first academic scholarship that I have received and hope that it becomes one of many. This scholarship will help me achieve my higher education goals.

Jordan Soderling, George R Clark Middle School, Vincennes, IN wrote:

I am extremely grateful to the Academy for awarding me this scholarship. It means a lot and it is truly an honor to win this prize. I also know the importance of scholarship money and money set aside for college, because that money will gain interest and will allow me to pay for tuition as well as anything else I need in my college life.

Ryan Sim, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon, CA wrote:

I am honored to be one of the recipients of the USAA educational cash grants, and would like to take this opportunity to thank the selection committee for choosing me for this prestigious award. I would like to thank my nominating teacher, Ms. Minor, for encouraging me to analyze the world with a scientific frame of mind. I would also like to thank my parents and family for believing in me and supporting me. Once again, I give my deepest thanks to the USAA Scholarship Foundation for the recognition and honor.

Aaron Wiesenfeld, Sumner High School, Sumner, WA wrote:

The United States Achievement Academy has long been a driving force of philanthropy regarding the enhancement of student's intellectual and personal growth. Personally, I am deeply honored and grateful to be recognized on a national scale for making an investment to the highest level of academic commitment. The unwavering support which I have received from this institution that focuses on students, who genuinely are interested in learning, will forever resonate throughout my life and the decisions I make.

Nicole Granet, Spanish River High School, Boca Raton, FL wrote:

I am ecstatic and honored to have been selected as a United States• Achievement Academy Scholar. Throughout middle and high school, I have consistently been dedicated to bettering myself and my community through education, community service and pursuing my passions. Receiving national recognition for my efforts in these areas motivates me to continue striving to enhance the world around me. I am incredibly grateful for everything that the United States Achievement Academy does to promote learning, service, character and self-growth.
"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right"- Henry Ford

Stephanie McCormick, Model Laboratory School, Richmond, KY wrote:

I would like to thank the United States Achievement Academy for the cash grant scholarship I was awarded. I am also very grateful for Mrs. Jamie Worley, my high school counselor, for nominating me for the award which resulted in my eligibility to compete for this wonderful opportunity. It is such a great honor to be recognized by the Academy for my achievements and commitment to excellence; I really appreciate this helpful contribution towards my future education needs. This award is definitely going to serve a means of encouragement for me to continue my efforts to excel in both academics and leadership skills. Thank you again for the acknowledgement and your confidence in my abilities; this really means a lot to me!

Emily Donegan, East Troy High School, East Troy, WI wrote:

I feel privileged to be among those selected to receive this scholarship, as well as the national recognition that comes with. It is flattering to be honored for the things I do every day. I have been raised on the principle that you should give back as much as possible, with the most valuable gifts you have: your time and talents. All of the activities listed on my application were things that I enjoy doing, but also allow me to give back to my school, church, community, and state. Each activity enables me to not only improve myself as a leader, but to help others become the best individuals that they can be. My hope is that the USAA continues to encourage adolescents to aspire for great things.
It truly does take an entire city to raise a child, so never stop encouraging students to reach for the stars. Thank you!

John Daniel Coburn, Sanford School, Hockessin, DE wrote:

Thank you for this honor. I am proud to represent my school, Sanford School, in Hockessin, DE as a recipient of the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship. I am honored that my English teacher, Mr. Weeks, recommended me for this scholarship. I appreciate organizations such as the United States Achievement Academy, who acknowledge the academic achievement of young Americans.

Ethan Cruikshank, Atlee High School, Mechanicsville, VA wrote:

I was honored to be nominated for the United States Achievement Academy by my high school Algebra II teacher, Mr. Swift, while I was in 8th grade and in middle school. I truly have a love for learning and share his passion for math. I was thrilled to be selected as one of the scholarship winners. I plan to use this scholarship to help in my long term education plans.

Emmet Hedin, Winona Senior High School, Winona, MN wrote

I am grateful to the United States Achievement Academy for the scholarship I received. The process was very straightforward and I didn't encounter any problems with the application. The Academy did a great job by providing clear instructions and a reasonable timeline. I am going to use my scholarship to continue my education at a four year university, and know that many other students' financial burdens will be eased as well because of the Academy's work. Thanks for fostering a spirit of education!

Alexandra Miller, Northern Middle School, Accident, MD wrote:

It is an honor to receive this recognition and support from the United States Achievement Academy. I appreciate the encouragement and opportunities provided by my teachers and family, especially Mrs. Wilburn who nominated me for this award. I learned a great deal from her, and her nomination means a lot to me.

Natia Schoepp, Sank Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI wrote:

It is a great honor to have been awarded this scholarship. It will be a nice addition to my education fund. I am flattered that I received this grant from the nationally recognized United States Achievement Academy. It is wonderful that this organization recognizes students for their hard work and dedication to their education. Scholarships are very instrumental in helping students to pay for their education and to achieve their higher goals. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the United Stated Achievement Academy for this greatly appreciated scholarship.

Morgan Matson, Thomas A. Edison High School, Alexandria, VA wrote:

Being nationally recognized makes me feel not only honored, but proud. 1 feel like the path I chose in life, rife with challenges that pushed and continue to push me academically and socially, is the right one. However, being awarded this scholarship has pushed me even more to ensure that I am not the only one to receive the benefits of my labor, but that I should continue to reach outward to positively influence and help those around me, or even those half-way across the globe. While on this chosen path, I want to create communities and environments that strive to help everyone reach their dreams, just like how the academy is helping me reach mine. A small gift of kindness can change the course of a person's life, which in turn can change the course of the world.

Katelyn R. O’Campo, King George High School, King George, VA wrote:

I was so excited to come home for fall break to see that I was a United States Achievement Academy Scholarship winner. I am extremely thankful for being nominated and honored to receive this scholarship. This grant will be put to good use towards the purchase of my books for my Spring Semester. Just when I thought all scholarships I had applied for had long-passed their award dates, you showed up to my door. I am truly blessed and honored to receive this recognition. Thank you so much

Elody Bensch, Waccamaw Intermediate School, Pawleys Island, SC wrote:

I was so excited to open and read the letter informing me of my scholarship and national recognition I was awarded by the USAA. I would like to thank my parents and teachers who nominated me to compete for this award, and I am thankful that organizations like yours make opportunities like this available to students who wish to excel and do their best in school. My mom has always encouraged me to take advantage of every chance to do something special because each open door may lead to even greater achievements and possibilities In the future. This is an honor and a blessing for which I am grateful.

Yue Zhang, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville, KY wrote:

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship committee for selecting me as one of the USAA scholarship recipients. This grant will go to further continuing my education. Furthermore, I am grateful that my former MathCounts coach, Mr. Gregory Moore, took the time to nominate students for these scholars. . Mr. Moore has since retired, but the impact of his contributions to math education is still felt. I am very proud to be a member of the MathCounts team that captured three consecutive state titles.

Rachel Spellman, William H. Taft High School, San Antonio, TX wrote:

I just wanted to say thank you for my scholarship. I never expected to win something as great as this. My thoughts about my scholarship are obviously ones of gratitude and surprise. I am just delighted by the fact that I have the opportunity to gain something like national recognition. I greatly appreciate your faith in my abilities. In the future, I hope to gain more recognition by using this scholarship as a first step of many. Thank you again for your belief in my achievements.

Sarah Reega, Loveland High School, Loveland, CO wrote:

I was extremely surprised to receive this scholarship. The application process was simple and straightforward, and the application fee was well worth the outcome. I'm honored to be a United States Achievement Academy scholar. Since college funding will be a struggle for me, I value each and every grant. The USAA scholarship is the first academic scholarship which I have been awarded, and so it is particularly special to me. When I first applied to be a United States Achievement Academy student, I was honored to be chosen, but I did not expect such a rewarding outcome. I'd like to personally thank the United States Achievement Academy for its aid and recognition.

Ben Catalano, Greensburg Central catholic High School, Greensburg, PA wrote:

In this day and age, college is quite costly, and I know I will have many expenses on my road to getting a Ph.D. in chemistry. The scholarship money from the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship Foundation will aid me in pursuing my goals. This award is the first step in achieving my dream, and I would like to thank the foundation for the award and national recognition of my achievements. I am also very grateful for Mrs. Debra Welch, my wonderful teacher and quiz team coach who nominated me for this honor. Winning this scholarship gives me the impetus to apply for other scholarships as I prepare to graduate in 2014. Thank you again for this opportunity and honor.

Michelle Liang, Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

I want to thank my teacher, Sra. Zuluaga, and the United States Achievement Academy for giving me this wonderful opportunity. There are times in this world when I wonder about the futileness and aimlessness of it all, and in those times, it is immeasurably good to know that someone cares about what I do. When I received my letter of nomination, 1 was speechless with gratitude that Sra. Zuluaga took the time to nominate me. My gratitude tripled when I received news of my scholarship. To Sra. Zuluaga, muchas gracias por esa oportunidad, and to the United States Achievement Academy, thank you, and know that I will make good use of this gift.

Nickolas Wrobleski, Scott County Middle School, Georgetown, KY wrote:

It is hard to express the feelings I have in receiving this award, but I can definitely say that I am honored beyond words. I'm extremely happy knowing that I am capable of earning this grant, and 1 guarantee that I will put this money to good use. I plan on depositing it into my college fund so I can receive the best education possible. After high school, I am going into the medical field and becoming an Oncologist, specifically a cellular biochemist. Curing cancer is my passion, and this award will definitely help me achieve this goal. This is just the first step to the rest of my life, and I thank you so much for considering me and granting me this award.

James Grant, Tupelo Middle School, Tupelo, MS wrote:

I am grateful to the United States Achievement Academy for their scholarship and recognition that they have given to me. This scholarship will help me to gain a higher education, which will open up more paths for me. This will allow me to better succeed in life and be better able to give back to the community and country. The people who have helped me most in academics are my parents, and Mrs. Julie Smith nominated me, I thank these people and the USAA for giving me many opportunities in life.

Summer Wu, junior, Illinois Math & Science Academy, Aurora, IL wrote:

I couldn't believe it when I received the letter from the United States Achievement Academy notifying me of the scholarship award. I'm so grateful for this scholarship. I'm going to college next year and I'm very concerned about the heavy burden of college costs on my family. This scholarship is a wonderful gift. I want to thank the Academy for their generosity. It's easy to apply. I didn't buy the Yearbook or any merchandise and didn't even have to write an essay. Most scholarships require you to do some kind of project or write an essay. The United States Achievement Academy just looks at what you've already achieved. I'm so excited and grateful.

Grace Woolson, 7th grader, Iber Holmes Grove Middle School, Raymond, NH wrote:

I am truly honored to receive this scholarship. I realize that this is a great opportunity for me to be granted this because it could help me in the long run with my academic goals. Also, the national recognition awarded to me by the Academy is something of which I am grateful. I do realize that this is a kind gesture to me from the United States Achievement Academy; it was certainly a pleasant surprise to receive a notice signifying that I was to be awarded this grant. Furthermore, I am grateful for the recognition that I am given from the USAA, and the fact that I am placed in an elite group of the USAA.

Kim Vuong, 6th grader, Christ the King School, Terry Town, LA wrote:

Words can't describe the joy and gratitude I felt when I found out that I was selected as one of the scholarship winners. This would not be possible if it was not for the loving and dedicated people in my life. I am very grateful for the faculty and teachers at Christ the King School. Thank you for your outstanding commitment to your students and a special thank you to my 6th grade math teacher, Mrs. Karen Babin for nominating me for this prestigious award.

My family has always supported me. Thanks to their love and encouragement I know I can do anything and the sky is the limit. I also want to say thank you to the staff of the United States Achievement Academy and Mr. Fraley for their time and consideration. Thank you so much for this recognition. I appreciate it very much.

Andrew Parambath, junior, Methacton High School, Eagleville, PA wrote:

The USAA scholarship is a great achievement in my years as a high school student. I thank the academy for giving me this national recognition. I believe that I was given this scholarship due to my diligent work in academics, and my desire to be the best student that I can. The constant hours studying, the insightful discussions with my teachers, and the participation in my extracurricular activities were worthwhile. I was able to receive the USAA scholarship and it has motivated me to continue to work hard and gain recognition in the future.

Mit Shah, junior, Metea Valley High School, Aurora, IL wrote:

I feel absolutely honored to have been selected to receive this award by the United States Achievement Academy. This is the first scholarship I have ever been awarded, and it is a milestone I will cherish forever. Above everyone, I thank my mathematics teacher, Mrs. Natalie Johnson, for nominating me for this award and strengthening my application with a wonderful recommendation letter. Words cannot express how thankful I am for her nomination. Throughout my life, have always strived to achieve success in everything I do, no matter how petty or trivial the task is. Working to my fullest potential is one of the ethical mantras I stand true by, and this scholarship gives me confidence and enlightens me that my efforts are being recognized and appreciated. Thank you once again United States Achievement Academy.

Alexander Houy, freshman, Claremont High School, Claremont, CA wrote:

I am honored to be selected as one of the nationally-recognized winners of the prestigious United States Achievement Academy Scholarship. I have worked diligently in the past seven years on academics and school leadership as well as the extra-curricular activities I plan to continue working hard towards the goal of graduating from high school with high GPA, passing AP and subject tests, and applying to a four­ year college. I will also continue to provide leadership as a member of the Claremont High School's Associated Student Body (ASB) and as a Vice-President of the sophomore class. I will use your generous cash grant to enhance my educational experience.

Shailey C. Shah, 7th grader, Chattanooga School of Liberal Arts, Chattanooga, TN wrote:

On October 16th 2012, I was selected as one of the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship winners. This experience has inspired me to excel in my learning and has given me confidence to keep trying and never let go of my dreams. During the process of applying for this scholarship, I learned that extracurricular activities are very important in life, not only academics. I never thought I could get a scholarship for college in middle school! I learned it is never too early to prepare for your future. I am so grateful to be recognized by the USAA, but I couldn't have done it without the nomination of my amazing teacher, Nancy Huston. Thank you Mrs. Huston for supporting me throughout this process, and giving me success. I also could have never done it without my parents, Chetan and Roma Shah, whom I love dearly. Thank you all for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime.

Jan Christopher Scharsig, junior, Rustin High School, West Chester, PA wrote:

Thank you to the United States Achievement Academy for granting me this scholarship; I am proud to have been selected as a recipient of this grant. The scholarship will be helpful in defraying the college expenses that I soon will face. While it is very complimentary to have been recognized as part of a group of scholars who exemplify commitment and achievement in their academics, I realize that continued personal diligence and responsibility are essential to achieving the high level of excellence that the USAA standard has set forth. Again, I want to thank the USAA for their generosity, but also the teachers and mentors who have helped me reach this point in my academic career.

Jade Maier, junior, Bowdle School, Bowdle, SD wrote:

It is a great honor to receive this award and the national recognition earned. Thank you for this scholarship. The funds will be used to further my education.

Sharon Kim, senior, La Canada High School, La Canada, CA wrote:

I am honored to receive this national scholarship award. It motivates and inspires me to keep doing well in academics and my extracurricular activities. As the award reflects all the hard work that I put into school and all the support l have received from my teachers, family, and friends, it will definitely remind me to persevere and stay optimistic in years to come. I am also very excited to receive the scholarship money and hope to save it for college tuition. I would like to thank my AP European teacher, Mrs. Chahine, who has nominated me as a United States Achievement Academy award recipient. She has taught me to love the art of learning and develop as a scholar through a persistent and positive attitude. I would also like to especially thank my mom who has always been there to cheer me on and support me in every way possible.

John Panagiotopoulos, senior, Century High School, Sykesville, MD wrote:

As the famous mathematician Sir Isaac Newton once said, "If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants." In response to the United States Achievement Academy for Math award, I acknowledge the immense respect for the teachers who allowed me to grow, develop, and question the integrity of theorem one too many times. I truly believe that math is a team effort that requires failure, adversity, and plenty of questions. My math teachers, Maddox, Horst, Wisner, Deboy, Barnold, Laudicina, Frey, Goff, and Henry, who supported me, truly deserve a part of this award. I encourage future recipients to focus on your journey rather than the destination, your epiphanies rather than your difficulties, and your passion rather than a bad test grade. As for me, I am encouraged by this award to continue pursuing my dreams in the field of math and engineering.

Hawes Collier, freshman, Arendell Parrott Academy, Kinston, NC wrote:

I would like to thank the Academy for my scholarship award. These pledges are key to the progress of our education on a national standard. Truly, education in higher learning must be of first and foremost importance in our nation in order to reach a goal of intellectual, capital, and cultural power. When you provide financial aid to the students of our great nation, you give us a chance to better ourselves and our country.

E'Keria Williams, Natchez High School, Natchez, MS wrote:

I am the 15-year-old daughter of Ernest and Tammy Williams Jr. I am also a 10th grader at Natchez High School. I am elated to have this opportunity to receive this elite United States Achievement Award (USAA) Scholarship. Thank you again.

Kiera Leddy, freshman, Milbank High School, Milbank, SD wrote:

I am honored to be selected for this scholarship presented by the United States Achievement Academy. I'm presently a sophomore at Milbank High School in South Dakota and it is rewarding knowing that involvement in extracurricular activities and community involvement while maintaining academic excellence leads to rewards financially. This past year, I was involved in oral interpretation, debate, all-school musical, golf, choir, band, jazz band, dance, and community Involvement through 4-H, FFA, and the VFW - Voice of Democracy patriotism essay contest. My high school band teacher, Susan Karels, nominated me to the United State Achievement Academy. Her enthusiasm and dedication to her students both in and out of school keeps me motivated to do my very best. I plan to pursue a law degree and this scholarship will help me achieve my goals. Thank you, to the United States Achievement Academy for helping celebrate and recognize America's outstanding students.

Kadon Leddy, 7th grader, Milbank Middle School, Milbank SD wrote:

Wow! I was thrilled to receive the news that I was selected for this scholarship presented by the United States Achievement Academy. I'm presently an 8th grader at Milbank Middle School in South Dakota. It is awesome to think that I am being recognized with other students across the nation! This past year, I was involved in piano, band, choir, dance, track, golf, and 4-H community service projects. I have maintained being on the Honor Roll and was nominated by my reading teacher, Mrs. Maass. This scholarship gives me the motivation to keep excelling in school and my extracurricular activities as hard work can be rewarding. This scholarship will help me as I plan to continue my education at the university level. I can't thank you enough for this wonderful program and being selected to such a prestigious group!

Emily Dorolek, senior, Wauconda High School, Wauconda, IL wrote:

I was unaware of my nomination for this scholarship by my teacher, advisor, role model, and friend Wendy Mills. The excitement I endured was indescribable, and quite a surprise. This will contribute to my education in pursuing journalism at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. I cannot thank the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship Foundation enough for this opportunity and award. Being recognized on a national level has made me smile at the proudness I have for myself. I worked extremely hard and exhibited dedicated qualities in all of my work throughout high school. Therefore, not that I expected an award of this kind, but I feel I deserve it for the hard work I put into my high school career. I plan to use this money to continue to learn within my field of study and become a successful journalist.

Sameer Shah, 7th grader, Riverside Christian School, Riverside, CA wrote:

This national recognition is prestigious for me. It is a matter of honor and pride to get this scholarship that will further motivate and inspire me to perform better than the best in future academic endeavors! Educational input bestowed by my teachers, listening to the wisdom of elders, pursuing extracurricular activities and participating in competitions has made me a well-rounded student. Academic enrichment has enhanced my creative and analytical thinking ability. Above all I will like to express my gratitude to God, my parents, teachers who enhanced my self-esteem and encouraged me in becoming a talented as well as versatile student.

Hannah Tobiczyk, 7th grader, Holy Family Regional School, Rochester Hills, MI wrote

I am very honored and grateful to the Academy to have received this scholarship. I have worked very hard academically and it is gratifying to be recognized, especially on a national level. I am excited to put this gift toward my education and will continue to work hard In the future. Thank you!

Austin Trahan, 8th grader, Scott Middle School, Scott, LA wrote:

Thank you very much for choosing me as one of the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship winners. I think it is great that your Academy awards these scholarships to students for our accomplishments in school. My schools have always given me awards like, trophies, ribbons and certificates for my good work, but I must be honest and say that an educational cash grant is a lot better.

I am now a freshman at Acadiana High School in Lafayette. My school activities include: playing baritone in the Acadiana High School Marching Band, being a member of the Robotics Club, and was recently nominated by two of my teachers to be recognized in the Renaissance awards program. I soon hope to be a member of the Acadiana High School baseball team. Even though I am very busy, I have been able to keep up with my studies, which I am proud of. Thank you again for the honor of being the recipient of a United States Achievement Academy Scholarship.

Josh Branscome, sophomore, Kirk Academy, Grenada, MS wrote:

I am extremely honored to be recognized as a United States Achievement Academy Scholarship winner. I give credit to my school, teachers, coaches, and parents for their continuous support and direction. I also give credit and thanks to my outstanding Biology teacher, Mrs. Debbie Dambrino, who challenged me, nominated me and enabled me to compete for national recognition. The USAA scholarship will help me continue to reach my educational goals and therefore advance into the medical profession where I will be able to help others as well. I am grateful and honored to be recognized by the United States Achievement Academy.

Jacob Bai, 8th grader, Chaminade College Preparatory School, Saint Louis, MO wrote:

I would like to thank the United States Achievement Academy for granting me this scholarship, which is a gracious reward for all the time and effort that I have put into my work in the classroom and on the sports field. To me, this scholarship is simply a physical reminder that hard work does pay off, and that great things do not happen overnight. Although some routines can become monotonous and easy, excellence is a habit formed by perseverance. I am proud to call myself a scholar­ athlete, with scholar being the most important component, but in being an athlete, I set myself apart from many other young scholars. In conclusion, this honorable recognition from the United States Achievement Academy is truly benevolent, and as I continue to work hard in my studies, I will adherently pursue the highest caliber academic achievement possible.

Luke E. Eskelund, Trinity Christian Academy, Barnstable, MA wrote:

I would like to thank the USAA for your recognition and generous gift. I do not take this for granted as I know that there are many hard working students out there who strive to succeed in all aspects of their scholastic careers. I am most grateful to Mrs. Lisa Williamson and the amazing upper level teachers and staff at Trinity Christian Academy, who unselfishly devote themselves to their students' success. I was a struggling student with low self-esteem and their continuous support and encouragement boosted my confidence, allowing me to be and do things I never thought possible. I am honored to receive this award, and now as a freshman in college am once again encouraged and inspired to continue to diligently pursue excellence in my attitude, work, and integrity.

Gurjot Dhanda, 7th grader, Washington Intermediate School, Dinuba, CA wrote:

I have a lot of positive thoughts about this scholarship and national recognition. One thought is knowing the fact that if I keep working hard like this I can get more scholarships. Another thing is that this will be helpful in the future; therefore I should try to get as many of these I can. Some ways it will help me in the future is by getting me into a high ranked university. Also a good university or college leads to a good career. Another way it is beneficial in the future is from the money for college. It will help because if I keep trying to do my best to achieve greater goals my hard work will pay off. Lastly the national recognition will motivate me and get me determined to do better in school.

Mason Page, 6th grader, Monroe County Middle School, Tompkinsville, KY wrote:

I am so glad that the United States Achievement Academy chose me as one of their scholarship winners. I feel very fortunate to have it for furthering my education in a few years. If Mrs. Cleary, my sixth grade Language Arts teacher, hadn't nominated me I would not have been eligible for this. The United States Achievement Academy picked me for an honor that is recognized nationally among many very talented young people. I am humbled to be one of them.

Max R. Thierry, 6th grader, Bland Middle, Bland, MO wrote:

It is with honor and excitement that I have received recognition and a cash grant scholarship from your organization. I know that I have much work to do yet since I am just in middle school. My parents remind me that I have to do my very best because I will have a lot of competition coming my way when its college and finding a job time. They also indicate that college is very expensive, and if I work hard perhaps more scholarships will be within my reach to get to help pay for attending college. I look forward to receiving the yearbook that both my brother and I are in and am very proud of your recognition. Thank you again.

Priyam H. Patel, sophomore, St. Augustine High School, St. Augustine, FL wrote:

My name is Priyam H. Patel, and I am extremely grateful for this scholarship and the national recognition that the Academy awarded me. This feeling of recognition is extremely gratifying, because it made me realize that there are others that know about my hard work. I feel so much more empowered after having been awarded this scholarship, and will strive to be the best student I can be, so that I can proudly call myself a recipient of a United States Achievement Academy Scholarship. I cannot stress enough how thankful I am to you for awarding me this scholarship, and I know that my family will be just as grateful if not more to you for the scholarship and national recognition you have awarded me.

Kaitlyn Johnson, 7th grader, Rutland Middle School, Macon, GA wrote:

I am extremely honored and grateful for receiving this scholarship from the United States Achievement Academy. When being recognized with such a prestigious award, I couldn't help but to smile with pride. I am also extremely grateful for my former 6th grade science teacher, Mrs. Heidi Graziano, for nominating me for the USAA Scholarship competition. I'd also like to congratulate the other scholarship winners for their stellar academic achievements. Lastly, to everyone who may be reading this short passage, always remember this: If you believe in yourself, you can and will succeed. Also: Your hard work will be rewarded.

Trina Badger, freshman, Albert P. Brewer High School, Somerville, AL wrote:

I would like to thank Mr. Jeff Fraley and those who selected me as a recipient of the 2012 United States Achievement Academy scholarship. This is the very first scholarship I have received, and I am honored. Receiving this scholarship has encouraged me to keep working hard at school, sports, and with my community. It reminds me of just how important my efforts are. Please be assured that I will put the money to good use as I pay for my college education. My parents were excited when they heard that I was awarded a scholarship. They have set up an education account for me in which I hope to add more scholarships to as I finish school.

Scott Damerow, senior, Richard King High School, Corpus Christi, TX wrote:

It has been a tremendous honor to receive a scholarship by another person's nomination and be included in a group of students whose actions speak so forcefully that they've grabbed the attention of another person. It is one thing to be awarded a scholarship that one applied for on one's own accord, but I believe something entirely different and a true testament to one's character to be awarded a scholarship that required the recognition from another person. I would like to thank my nominator for that recognition and the substantial positive impact he has had on my life every day for the past four years. I would also like to congratulate those being awarded the national recognition of this scholarship and applaud them for their outstanding accomplishments.

Richard M. Bennett IV, 6th grader, Creekside Middle School, Carmel, IN wrote:

Winning the USAA Scholarship from the United States Achievement Academy is a real honor. I have tried very hard to achieve my high academic records, and now I am getting rewarded. This scholarship is very important to kids that go the extra mile on academic work that they do, so that the kids can stay motivated and aim for high goals in their life. I believe that this award will be able to help me get into a college of my choice and puts me one step ahead of others competing for enrollment at the colleges I wish to go to. This award will definitely be something that I look back on as an early educational achievement. Lastly, I would like to thank Mr. Scott Chelli for nominating me for this award and all of the teachers that have helped me reach my goals.

Jesus Aguirre, junior, Edinburg North High School, Edinburg, TX wrote:

I am honored to be one of the recipients of the USAA Scholarship. When I first read that I had won a scholarship, I was extremely excited. I couldn't believe that I had won such a great scholarship. I know that this is one of the first steps toward advancing my education and becoming successful. Your generosity has motivated me to work harder towards my goals and to help others by giving back to the community. Once again, I offer my sincerest thanks for your USAA Scholarship.

Tyler Nichols, sophomore, Spencer County High School, Taylorsville, KY wrote:

I am very honored to have received this award and national recognition from the Academy. I feel like the Academy has done a very good job recognizing students across the nation for their accomplishments and awarding them while doing so. The scholarship will help very much when it comes time to pay off college tuition and I appreciate it very much. Thank you again to the Academy and its hard work and dedication to students and their achievements.

Caspar Stinn, sophomore, Magnolia High School, Magnolia, TX wrote:

I am extremely grateful for receiving a scholarship from the United States Achievement Academy. It is very rewarding to see how my hard work at school up to this point has paid off. This scholarship has given me an increased sense of motivation to continue to work my hardest every day in the classroom. Merit based scholarships serve as a form of praise for academic success not always recognized at school or home. In addition students who receive merit based scholarships function as positive examples for other students to follow. Peers see that my hard work does not go unnoticed; it is rewarded through organizations such as the United States Achievement Academy. This acknowledgment shows other students that if they work hard, their successes will be recognized as well. The scholarship I received also reflects encouragingly on my school and teachers, whom I thank for all of their guidance.

Sheila Cochrane, 7th grader, G. S. Mickelson Middle School, Brookings, SD wrote:

The scholarship given to me by the Academy was completely unexpected. I think it's wonderful to get national recognition for my work and academic achievements, and to know they are valued. This has motivated me to work harder. I'm grateful for the scholarship and will use the money to further my education.

James Minock, freshman, N. Burlington Co. Regional High School, Columbus, NJ wrote:

My name is James Minock, and I am one of the 2012 scholarship recipients. Thank you for this recognition. I am truly honored and grateful to be one of the select students to be awarded a scholarship from the United States Achievement Academy. I believe that this recognition will help me in my pursuit of higher education as well as my pursuit into the occupational world. Once again, thank you for your decision, and I will continue to strive for excellence in the future.

Michelle Lai, junior, Clark High School Las Vegas NV wrote:

I want to thank USAA for selecting me as one of your Scholarship Winners. Not only am I truly honored to receive scholarship money from the Academy, but it is also a privilege to be nationally recognized for the leadership award among the many students of the fifty states. I have attained other awards, but they have always acknowledged either my academic strength or my service to the community. This award however, is especially unique. It is one thing to have academic skills in life, but it is another to be able to use it in a way that can benefit others. As Emerson has once said, "do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Being a high-achiever has always been my high school's motto, and I believe I have just reached high past the sky.

Samantha Lai, 8th grader, Canarelli Middle School Las Vegas NV wrote:

I would like to thank USAA for selecting me as a winner for the scholarship. It is an honor to become one of your scholars out of the many students nationwide who applied. Being only an eighth grader, I was truly surprised to receive this recognition. I know this award can benefit me by getting acknowledgment for other scholarship programs in the future, and it will open up other opportunities for me when I become a high school student. I promise to continue going above and beyond in everything I do. There are many words I can use to describe how I feel about receiving this award: proud, grateful, exhilarated, privileged, joyful, delighted, and honored.

Mitch Hilsabeck, junior, South Nodaway School, Barnard, MO wrote:

I am excited to earn this scholarship. I am in great need of financial aid as I plan on going to a Division I school, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and having a twin sister going to college at the same time. I am very proud to be selected as a winner of the USAA Scholarship Award. Being nationally recognized is very humbling and I am very thankful for that opportunity. Thank you for allowing me to be selected as a winner of this prestigious award.

Cecily Zecca-Naples, freshman, St. Mary’s High School, Annapolis, MD wrote:

Education is unique. It cannot be stolen, lost, or wasted. Education is the most valuable asset one can possess. Any level of knowledge derived from exploration and inquiry is something to be celebrated. Regardless of age, race, or background, education has served as a way for people to start anew and build one's life, spirit, and soul. Education is a gift with which I have been graced; one which I intend to nurture and treasure forever. I so appreciate the US Achievement Academy's generous scholarship toward the continuation of my education and the expansion of my knowledge. I am honored to have been selected and will certainly continue to strive for excellence academically and throughout my life. I look forward to the opportunity to continue my high school career at St. Mary's High School. Upon graduation of college, I will go on to pursue a career in physical therapy.

Chris Drozynski, freshman, Lakeview High School, Stoneboro, PA wrote:

I was very excited when I received the letter saying that I received this scholarship. I appreciate everything my parents, teachers, coaches and peers have done to help me with my academics and extracurricular activities. I especially want to thank my teacher, Mrs. Kohr, for submitting my name to the USAA. I never imagined that as a freshman I would receive a scholarship, but this taught me that anything can happen, and it is never too soon to start to prepare for college.

Sarah Doner, 6th grader, Amanda Clearcreek Middle School, Amanda, OH wrote:

First off I would like to thank you for the scholarship award and national recognition awarded to me by the Academy. I'm extremely grateful to have received this scholarship because I'm going to need as many scholarships as I can get due to the fact that I'm going to go to college to be a veterinarian. It is an honor to receive this award. I’m truly grateful for keeping my grades up otherwise I might not have gotten this grant. I don't know what I would do without this scholarship. This is a true honor to have been able to be one of a few selected out of the whole country to be recognized. Thank you this is very important to me and this is something I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you. I'm blessed to have been granted a scholarship and this recognition.

Insuh Thomas Cho, junior, LA Center for Enriched Studies, Los Angeles, CA wrote:

The scholarship has given me to the courage to overcome obstacles that have been present in my life so far. By acknowledging my accomplishments thus far with a substantial sum, I would like to express my gratitude for recognizing what have led up to receiving this award. I believe that this will be the small accomplishment in my life that add up to become on great accomplishment in the near future and I would truly like to thank the contributors who have sparked a light in my stressful final year of high school.

McKayla Wandell, sophomore, Henry Perrine Baldwin High School, Wailuku, HI wrote:

I would like to write about to you on how thrilled I am to receive this scholarship. It is an honor to receive a national recognition like this. This was the first scholarship I had applied for, so you can image my thrill when I found a letter in the mail saying I had managed to get it. With this is money I plan on taking college classes through the running start program this summer. This money will help me move forward and take steps to my brightest possible future. Before this, I did not know how I would be able to take those classes, but now I do. For that, I give my utmost gratitude and appreciation for this scholarship.

Justin Crum, junior, Hallsville Middle High School, Hallsville, MO wrote:

It is an honor to be ranked among some of the highest achieving, scholarly individuals of my time. I greatly appreciate the recognition and the scholarship, which will be used to further my academic career.

Chelse-Amoy Steele, sophomore, Rockdale Magnet for Science and Technology School, Conyers, GA wrote:

Last year, when I was nominated for this scholarship by my c alculus teacher, Dr. Chuck Garner, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to present myself for a scholarship. Once I was awarded this scholarship, my immediate exuberance was met with sincere thankfulness to all of the people who have pushed me to reach and even surpass my goals. I would like to thank Dr. Chuck Garner, the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, and my parents for encouraging me to succeed and the United States Achievement Academy Scholarship Foundation for rewarding my achievements.

Kevin Carney, 8th grader, Community House Middle School, Charlotte, NC wrote:

Thank you to all the judges for selecting me for this scholarship. I am extremely honored that I was recognized and given a scholarship by the United States Achievement Academy. I hope to use my scholarship funds to further my studies in either music or engineering this summer. It is gratifying when hard work pays off. This outstanding award has giving me motivation to work even harder towards my future goals. Many thanks.

Logan Thorneloe, freshman, Perikomen Valley High School, Collegeville, PA wrote:

I am very grateful for the United States Achievement Academy (USAA) and the opportunity I was given in being nominated to compete for the USAA Scholarship. I am very thankful to be selected as one of the winners of the scholarship and plan to use it for my future educational endeavors. I am also thankful for USAA in recognizing the achievement of students throughout the United States. I am very appreciative of the good the USAA has done around the country and the community service they have supplied. I realize the honor of being recognized with this scholarship which will enhance my educational opportunities in the future.

Madison Kate McGraw, junior, Beebe High School, Beebe, AR wrote:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity in awarding me the USAA Scholarship this year. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen as a recipient of this award. I am currently a junior in Beebe High School. I plan to graduate in May 2014, to pursue pre-med. I am truly grateful for the assistance that I am receiving from your organization to attend college. When I graduate, I hope that I can make a difference in people’s lives, the same way that your organization has made a difference in mine. Thank you for the generous contribution which will make my education possible.