A larger number of 2018 graduates of Hamilton County Schools will have a head start on their next step as the class received $10 million more in scholarship offers than the previous class. The Class of 2018 had over $31 million in scholarship offers to colleges and universities.
"Reaching graduation day is an important milestone for high school teens, but it is also a starting point for the rest of their lives," officials said.
Ooltewah High graduate Dessa O’Neal has the opportunity to head north to attend the University of Chicago on a full scholarship worth an estimated $286,236 over the next four years. Bethsahida “Betsy” Harrigan, a graduate of Central High School, was offered a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University to study psychology with a pre-med emphasis at an estimated worth over $283,000. Another Central graduate Kathleen “Katt” Cimino earned a scholarship to attend Wesleyan University to study English and French. The Wesleyan scholarship is estimated to be worth over $280,000 over the next four years. Kedhejah Kelley, a graduate of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, has a full scholarship to attend Emory University and major in math on a pre-med track. Avery Hawkins, Jude Tedder, Grace Taylor and Emily Romero, graduates of Soddy-Daisy High are all first-generation members of their families to attend college, and all four plan to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with full-ride scholarships.
"These are just a few of the many exciting opportunities awaiting Hamilton County graduates from the Class of 2018," officials said.
Tyner Academy graduates received over $5 million in scholarships, Soddy-Daisy High graduates $2.7 million, Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts over $2.1 million, and Central High graduates over $1 million in scholarships for 2018.
“Preparing graduates for success after high school is a key mission for Hamilton County Schools and a big step in a graduate’s success is making college financially attainable,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “These students have put in the hard work in the classroom, on the playing field or in artistic development to make scholarships possible, and our teachers, advisers, and counselors have worked the extra hours to connect deserving students with scholarship opportunities.”
“I have been accepted at NYU to study acting,” said Tyrese Jones, a 2018 graduate of Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts. “I am sad to leave CCA, but I am happy to open the next chapter in my life.”