03/16/14 — Wayne Country Day student earns honor

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Wayne Country Day student earns honor

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 16, 2014 1:50 AM

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Karis Hawkins poses for a photo at Wayne Country Day School. Ms. Haw-kins is one of only 800 students to earn the National Achievement Scholar designation -- and the first at her school to receive the honor.

For the first time in the school's history, Wayne Country Day School has a National Achievement Scholar, a program that recognizes black American high school students.

Senior standout Karis Hawkins recently learned that she is among the approximately 800 recipients across the nation. Students are selected on the basis of their PSAT scores, abilities, skills and accomplishments throughout their high school careers.

More than 160,000 high school juniors requested consideration for the scholarship program when they took the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test in 2012. From those, about 1,600 black American high school seniors received the semifinalist designation back in September and continued on in the competition for the 800 awards worth about $2.5 million being offered this spring.

Miss Hawkins was the only semifinalist from Wayne County and the first from WCDS, officials there said.

"I'm kind of blown away. I wasn't expecting it so early," she said Thursday. "I'm ecstatic I got it."

As a National Achievement Scholar, she will receive a one-time $2,500 award.

The 17-year-old said she has applied to 14 colleges and already received acceptance letters at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia and the University of Southern California.

"Right now I'm looking around April 1. That's when I will make my decision," she said. "I have a lot of good choices so far."

She is interested in pursuing a degree in international business, she said. She said she has researched all her college choices extensively, visiting some of the campuses, and expects to discuss the options with her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Sherman Hawkins, to determine which will be the "best fit."

"Right now it's less stressful, too, but it's nice seeing some of the hard work over the years paying off," she said. "I'm excited about the future. I haven't really been missing high school yet. I'm just excited about the future.

Headmaster Todd Anderson said he was very proud of the distinguished student and all she has accomplished, predicting a bright future for her, wherever she chooses to go to pursue her education.