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Students earn more than $10M

The students of Suffolk were weighed and found deserving by many local and national organizations and universities.

Students were awarded more than $10 million in scholarships for their academic achievements, community involvement, athletic abilities and artistic talent.

“I am always proud of our students’ accomplishments,” Suffolk Public School Superintendent Milton Liverman said.

“Their pursuit of scholarship dollars is a reflection of their collective pursuit of academic excellence during their school careers. That so many colleges, companies, organizations, individuals and foundations would award these dollars serves as one validation of their efforts.”

Of the 75 students in the graduating class at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, 55 were offered nearly $3.9 million, including three National Merit Scholarships, a Parks Scholarship worth $120,000 and a Georgia Tech Presidential Scholarship.

“This year’s graduating class were very dogged,” said Don Birmingham of NSA’s Office of College Counseling. “We had a record number of offers by $500,000. They were determined to do it and they did a great job.”

Students from Kings Fork High school brought in more than $3 million in scholarships, including three Army ROTC Scholarships and eight athletic scholarships in the excess of $100,000 each and two more for more than $90,000.

The students at Nansemond River High School were awarded nearly $3.2 million. Notable scholarships included $180,000 from the Army ROTC for a student to attend Duke University, two scholarships from the Navy ROTC and a full dance scholarship for a student to attend New York University.

“We’re doing real well,” said David Mitnik, student counselor at Nansemond River. “The students have been very conscientious in filling out tall the applications they’re eligible for, and we’ve had some students with great successes.”

At Lakeland High School, students were awarded $1.7 million, the most notable of which was worth $480,000, the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

“I started the application in August 2009 and didn’t turn it in until November,” said Brenton Stokes, recipient of the scholarship. “I wanted to make sure everything was in place. I had to write nine essays for it. I wanted to make sure I submitted myself in the best way I could, so they could see me for who I really am. Receiving it has been the utmost honor.”

Scholarship applications require time and dedication to find which scholarships for which they are eligible and fill them out.

“I spent my Saturdays working on them and who knows how many hours,” said Lindsey Crews, a King’s Fork graduate who received more than $70,000 from at least seven separate scholarships. “They all blur together. It’s like working a part-time job. It’s nice to receive money and be recognized for all my hard work.”

While the scholarships have monetary value and will provide the students who receive them financial assistance, they also provide validation of their work and additional opportunities.

“Their achievements, as a result of the opportunities these scholarships represent, will provide future validation of the high caliber of student produced by Suffolk Public Schools,” Liverman said.