Reegan Innes wore Wichita State University’s black and yellow colors Thursday and told people:
“I’m thrilled to be a Shocker.”
Amanda Johnson simply said she was ready to do “some amazing things on campus.”
Johnson, of Wichita Northwest High, and Innes, from Mulvane High, were named winners Thursday of the Gore Scholarship at WSU.
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The two high school seniors will receive the Harry Gore Memorial Scholarship worth $52,000, one of the largest undergraduate scholarships in Kansas.
“It is really a special situation for the university to be able to recognize quality students who can make a difference in people’s lives,” said WSU president John Bardo. “That’s what the Gore Scholarship has been since its founding. It is about leadership. It is about the future.”
Johnson and Innes were selected from 413 students who competed in this year’s Distinguished Scholarship Invitational on Nov. 10.
Johnson said she plans to major in finance.
“This has been an experience and definitely a journey on how I got here,” Johnson said. “I am very honored to be here. It has been a blessing.”
Johnson currently serves as vice president of youth entrepreneurship of her school’s DECA chapter. She is a four-year varsity competitor and two-year state qualifier in track and field.
She is active in the National Honor Society and is currently sports editor and a reporter for the Northwest Explorer student newspaper.
Innes said she plans to study elementary education.
“This competition hasn’t been easy, but it has been a learning experience,” Innes said. “I have had the privilege of interacting with some of the best and brightest students in the area.
“I can’t wait to represent WSU. Go Shocks!”
Innes is president of her school’s Thespian Club and a member of the Kansas Association of Youth, National Honor Society and Students Against Destructive Decisions. She is involved in her school’s student council and is a varsity show choir member.
To be invited to compete for the scholarship, students had to have an ACT score of 24 or higher and a minimum 3.50 cumulative GPA.
Once invited, students completed a packet of information, including essays and letters of recommendation, and competed in an on-campus leadership competition.
The other finalists were: Courtney Allen, Wichita Southeast High School; T.J. Blake, Hutchinson High; David Brink, Goddard Eisenhower; Hassan Farhoud, Wichita Collegiate; Kelsey Hanna, Rose Hill High; Hannah Hoetmer, Goddard High; Carley Larson, Wichita Heights; and Sachin Pendse, Wichita East.
All finalists will receive competitive scholarship packages to attend WSU in the fall, school officials said.
The scholarship was established in 1952 by Theodore and Ralph Gore in memory of their father, Harry Gore, a Russian immigrant who placed a high priority on education.
It has been awarded annually to WSU students since 1954.