It’s announced for weeks—students prepare for even longer.  There’s competition, drama, pressure, and probably a few stressed out tears shed.  And no this isn’t a high school soap opera.  It’s the Sterling Scholarship.   What inspires students all over the country to work so hard for a scholarship that only a few people get?  A few students and a teacher gave their input on the matter.  Aralia Ward, a senior going out for the Social Sciences Sterling Scholarship talks about what inspired her to do this, “I’ve just always had a passion for social studies, and I think that it’s often an overlooked area but it affects our lives a lot.”  There is a lot of pressure on students for this scholarship, especially considering what they could get from this.  This program gives away thousands of dollars in scholarships every year to a student's chosen school.  “It feels a little daunting,” Ward admits, “Because I know there’s people more qualified but I had fun just filling out the application and just trying to think about why I would actually get this.”  And Ward isn’t the only one feeling the pressure of this.  Hayden Hall, a senior running for the World Languages Sterling Scholarship mentions how nerve wracking this program actually is.  “It’s nerve wracking, because the school is so full of talent and there is so many people who could be running for the same thing but you just have to rely on your own individual strength.”

   Mrs. Chambers, the AP Literature and American Studies teacher at Lone Peak High School, encourages future students to go out for the Sterling Scholar.  “They do need to understand the qualifying demands of each of the categories, and it varies from category to category.  It’s not strictly academics.  It’s academics, it’s leadership, it’s service….But yes I absolutely encourage students to do it.”  There is a scholarship out there for anyone interested in something.  What sets a particular student out from the crowd?  There are scholarships for almost everything and some very intense, albeit worthwhile and rewarding, scholarship opportunities in the Sterling Scholarship program.  

   This program is just for seniors, but to all the juniors who are on the fence of running for a Sterling Scholar, they need to be aware of the grueling experience that is ahead of them.  However, as Mrs. Chambers mentioned, it is very rewarding.  For those students who don’t know about what the Sterling Scholarship program is, Hall and Ward explain, “It’s a scholarship program,” Ward says, “And if you’re considered the best in your department you can win a lot of fun prizes if you win at school and state level.”  Hall adds on to this by saying, “Sterling Scholar is this placement that you get put in in fifteen different categories, and basically each school chooses 15 candidates for each category and sends them to compete in regions and state against all the other schools to try and prove that you are the most ‘scholarly’ at your subject.”  

   Although a lot of the time students need to rely on their own personal strength, Sterling Scholar seems like a great opportunity and a very rewarding experience for all those involved.  So go for it students! In the wise words of Benjamin Mee from the film We Bought a Zoo, “Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, and I promise you something great will come out of it.”