Mayo High School senior receives full-ride to college
By Melissa Rollins, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
For high school seniors with plans to attend college, ideas of where and when to attend can sometimes be limited based on their financial resources. When Mayo High School student Emily Cooper heads to college all she’ll have to focus on is her studies: a full-ride scholarship will pay her way.
Cooper said that she always had a love for math. When it came time for high school, Mayo was an easy choice.
“I was interested in the school because it had a good reputation,” Cooper said. “Everyone talked highly of Mayo. My favorite subjects are math and science so that also made me interested in coming here.”
Having a natural inclination toward math as a child, Cooper later developed a love for science as well.
“I always had a love for math but science didn’t become my favorite until I came here,” Cooper said. “I love my teachers Ms. Long, Dr. Lovelace and Ms. Taylor and that is what made me fall in love with science.”
The discovery aspect of science, finding out not only the what but the why, drew her to classes like biology.
“With science, you learn interesting things, like with the body and anatomy,” Cooper said. “When you’re growing up, you know about aneurysms, heart disease and things like that but you never know how it happens; when you find out how it happens, its really interesting.”
Cooper will be majoring in biology at Vanderbilt University, a private university in Tennessee. She said that had it not been for her dad, she might not be going there at all.
“I wasn’t even going to put it on my list because it is so far away,” Cooper said. “My dad told me to go for it because they have a good biology program and medical school. I was going to go to Duke but Vanderbilt selected me so that is where I am going to go.”
QuestBridge, an organization that helps students from low-income backgrounds make their college dreams come true, made Cooper’s scholarship possible.
“I found out about it from Brianna Johnson, a student in the Hartsville IB program,” Cooper said. “I wanted to spread the news at Mayo and I have already talked to the junior class. For some reason, Hartsville knew about it and other schools didn’t. There are plenty of students before me who could have gotten this award but at least they know about it now.”
Cooper’s full-ride is not the only impressive thing about this Darlington County student. She was recently the state president for the South Carolina Beta Club.
“We have had other students who have been vice president but this is a first for Mayo,” said Principal Arlene Wallace. “We are so proud of Emily and I know her parents are too.”
Cooper said that Beta Club, a group she has been a member of since middle school, has taught her valuable leadership skills.
“I learned that being a leader is something important and you can’t take advantage of that because there are a lot of people who get positions and don’t do anything,” Cooper said. “In leadership you have to keep up with that image and you have to uphold those standards of a leader.”
Cooper said that getting a full-ride scholarship takes a burden off of her and her parents, especially because she has a twin sister who will be attending Winthrop University studying to become a teacher.