The Park Scholarships program at North Carolina State University has named 112 Finalists for the Class of 2020 – the 21st class of Park Scholars.
Approximately 220 NC State alumni who comprise the Park Scholarships Selection Committee conducted interviews with 345 Semifinalists in early January. The Semifinalists were chosen from a record number of just over 2,000 applicants.
Finalists will visit the NC State campus on February 19-20 to participate in Final Selection Activities at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center. These activities will include individual interviews, group discussion tasks, and panels with faculty and Park Scholars. Finalists and their guests will also attend a reception and dinner hosted by NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson.
Among this year’s Finalists are many student body presidents, varsity athletic team captains, Eagle Scouts, and Girl Scout Gold Award recipients. A number of them are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists; concertmasters and drum majors; robotics team programmers, drivers, and mentors; and newspaper, yearbook, and literary magazine editors. One received the Popular Mechanics 2015 Next Generation Breakthrough Award; one conducts sociolinguistics research at Duke University; one has studied Russian in Russia, Moldova, and Estonia on U.S. Department of State scholarships; and another completed an Outward Bound course in Alaska.
Two Finalists for the Park Class of 2020 were named “Most Likely to Change the World” by their peers and teachers; certainly, all are committed to giving back. They are speaking up about issues of social justice, the U.S. prison system, literacy, environmental protection, and STEM education, and leading initiatives to combat hunger and homelessness. One raised upwards of 1,700 pounds of food through multiple drives, another raised more than $60,000 for bladder cancer research, and a third founded an organization that grows and sells watermelons to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.
One Park Finalist launched an arts and music therapy program at a local hospital, another teaches a Music and Motion class for exceptional children, and one volunteers at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. They have built home ramps for the disabled, worked with orphans in Honduras, and provided backpacks filled with school supplies to children in the foster care system. This year’s Finalists also include company dancers, a Nordic skier, a Subway sandwich artist, a co-developer of an application to improve social skills in children with communicative disorders, a private pilot, the bass singer in a doo wop quartet, and a nationally recognized woodworker.
Finalist biographies, listed by country, state, and county, are available here.
The Park Scholarships program, now in its 20th year, brings exceptional students to NC State University based on outstanding accomplishments and potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The program develops and supports Park Scholars in these areas, preparing them for lifelong contributions to the campus, state, nation, and world. The scholarship includes tuition and fees, room and board, enrichment activities, and additional expenses.
The Park Scholarships are named for the late Roy H. Park ’31, an NC State alumnus who created the charitable Park Foundation, dedicated to education, media, and the environment. Approximately 35 scholarships will be awarded this year to outstanding high school seniors for undergraduate study in any discipline at NC State.