Four LCPS seniors have distinguished themselves in competition for some of the most prestigious college scholarships in the state.
Angel Gaona, 18, of North Lenoir High School and Ricardo Crespo, 17, of South Lenoir High School are semi-finalists for the Morehead-Cain Scholarship to the University of North Carolina. Mary Tyndall, 17, of South Lenoir is a semi-finalist for the Park Scholarship to N.C. State University and classmate Chris Campbell reached the semi-final round for the Levine Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“This is definitely a great opportunity,” Gaona said of the chase for the Morehead-Cain. “I have high hopes and dreams for it, and hopefully I can turn those dreams into a reality.”
The top student in his class, Gaona attended North Carolina Governor’s School last summer in math. His career goals bend more toward science, however. “I plan on going on to medical school after college and becoming a cardiologist,” he said.
The son of Paula and Gregorio Gaona, his extracurricular activities at North Lenoir include varsity soccer.
Crespo, the son of Guadalupe and Rigoberto Crespo of Pink Hill, plans to major in biology in college and pursue a career in either marine biology or biomedical engineering. At South Lenoir, he wrestles and runs cross country and track.
Gaona and Crespo are scheduled to interview as semi-finalists for the Morehead-Cain on Tuesday in Greenville. North Carolina students who are finalists are to be notified Jan. 17. Last year, 70 students were chosen to receive the four-year scholarship, valued at $80,000 for in-state students.
“I feel pretty confident,” Crespo said, looking ahead to Tuesday. “I’ve had interview experiences with jobs and other scholarship, so hopefully I’ll do well.”
Tyndall’s pursuit of the Park Scholarship fits perfectly with her college plans. “I’ve always wanted to go to N.C. State because I’m really passionate about agriculture and that’s the best university in North Carolina to major in that.”
The daughter of Johnnie and Jodie Tyndall of Pink Hill, she plans to major in agriculture education and then go to law school to become an agricultural lawyer. Her interest in agriculture has been furthered, she said by her membership in the Lenoir County 4-H Livestock Club. “I’ve been able to participate in livestock judging events, show pigs and be able to be on the North Carolina State Skillathon Team and represent the state in a national competition,” she said.
Her semi-finalist interview for the Park was scheduled for Saturday. Finalists are to be notified Jan. 25. The scholarship is valued at $100,000.
Campbell reached the semi-final round of the Levine Scholarship on the basis of a written application, as did the other semi-finalists for the respective scholarships. In addition to his academic achievements, Campbell’s record featured his involvement in Boy Scouts, where he is working toward the Eagle rank, and participation in sports, including track, cross country and wrestling. The son of Halbert and Angela Campbell of Kinston, he plans to study electrical engineering. He is also a candidate for the Honors College at UNC-Charlotte and has advanced to the district level for the Elks National Foundation scholarship.
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