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New class of 20 Flinn Scholars will stay in Arizona

The 2014 Flinn Scholarship has been awarded to 20 of Arizona’s highest-achieving high-school seniors, who will receive a comprehensive educational package to attend an Arizona public university.

Now in its 29th year, the competitive, merit-based scholarship package is valued at more than $100,000. The scholarship includes the cost of tuition to one of the state’s three public universities, room and board, funding for international study-related travel and professional development, university faculty mentorship, and other benefits. Each award is provided through a partnership between the Flinn Foundation and the universities.

“Once again, this incoming class of Flinn Scholars is filled with high-achieving students who have already demonstrated through academics, leadership, and community service how valuable they are to the state of Arizona,” said Jack Jewett, Flinn Foundation President and CEO. “These 20 Scholars will have a lasting impact on our universities and the state.”

Last fall, 624 Arizona high-school seniors applied for the 2014 Scholarship, the second straight year that the number of applications exceeded 600. The selected Scholars represent 3.2 percent of the applicants.

The 20 Scholars represent 18 high schools. Hamilton High School in Chandler, with three Scholars, is the only school with multiple Scholars. This is the second straight year Hamilton has three Scholars.

The geographic diversity of the Class of 2014 is significant. Five of the Scholars are from outside the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, from as far apart as Fort Mohave—just south of Bullhead City on the California-Arizona line—and Rio Rico, just north of Arizona’s southern border with Mexico. Other hometowns include Casa Grande, Chandler, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson.

Three high schools have their first-ever Flinn Scholar—River Valley High School in Mohave Valley along with Chandler Preparatory Academy and Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff.

The projected majors of the Scholars cover a wide range, including broadcasting, biomedical engineering, business, physics, neuroscience, and music.

“Each year seems to raise the bar in terms of the accomplishments of our applicants,” said Matt Ellsworth, Flinn Scholars Program director and a 1993 Flinn Scholar. “What distinguishes these 20 Flinn Scholars is the potential they hold to apply their exceptional talents toward the common good.”

Applications are submitted each fall to the Flinn Foundation. A review committee narrows the field and about 75 students are invited for a semifinalist interview. In March, 42 finalists took part in a second round of interviews with the Selection Committee, which is comprised of respected Arizona leaders. The offers to the 20 Scholars were accepted in April. They will begin their undergraduate education in August.

The Flinn Scholar Class of 2014, along with 17 Scholars who will be graduating from Arizona’s universities this year, will be honored at the annual recognition dinner May 3 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix before nearly 200 family members, university officials, teachers, and community leaders. Each new Flinn Scholar will recognize an educator who has influenced them in a substantial way.

The benefits of the scholarship, in addition to covering eight semesters of study at an Arizona public university, include:

  • a three-week summer seminar program, currently in China, following the freshman year;
  • at least one additional study or professional-development experience abroad or within the United States;
  • university faculty mentorship in the Scholar’s field of study;
  • the introduction of Scholars to Arizona’s business, academic, research, and civic leaders through invitations to cultural events and activities; and
  • membership in an active and supportive community of current Scholars and about 450 alumni.

Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average in college and be involved in campus or community activities to retain the Scholarship.

The qualifications for typical candidates who apply for the Scholarship include:

  • at least a 3.5 grade-point average;
  • a ranking in the top 5 percent of their graduating class;
  • a score of at least 1300 on the SAT test or 29 on the ACT; and
  • participation and demonstrated leadership abilities in extracurricular activities.

The Flinn Scholars Program, which started in 1986, is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization. The Foundation was established in 1965 by the late Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. In addition to the Scholars program, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

2014 ScholarSchoolHometown
Ian Barton
Apoorva Bhaskara
Alexander Buckley
Delilah Cassidy
Lindsey Chew
Hailey Dickson
Justin Frere
Leah Kaplan
Vaishnavi Koka
Nisha Parasher
Maddie Pickens
Graham Place
Aidan Schneider
Angela Siebrecht
Viputheshwar Sitaraman
Carly Snyder
Tristen Vaughn
Naomi Worob
Jimmy Xu
Jaylia Yan
Nogales High School
Paradise Valley High School
Red Mountain High School
Casa Grande Union High School
Hamilton High School
Desert Vista High School
Brophy College Preparatory
Chaparral High School
Mountain Pointe High School
Chandler Preparatory Academy
BASIS Tucson North
Sabino High School
Northland Preparatory Academy
River Valley High School
Hamilton High School
University High School
Saint Mary’s Catholic High School
Prescott High School
Hamilton High School
Mountain View High School
Casa Grande
Mohave Valley
flinn scholars

22 Top Arizona Students Become Flinn Scholars

Flinn Scholars have been selected — twenty-two of Arizona’s most talented high-school seniors have been awarded the 2012 Flinn Scholarship, a comprehensive educational package at an Arizona public university that includes tuition, room and board, international study-related travel, and additional benefits.

Each award, provided through a partnership between the Flinn Foundation and the universities, has a total value of more than $100,000.

More than 550 high-school seniors from throughout Arizona applied to be a member of the 27th annual class of Flinn Scholars.  The Class of 2012 is only the second to have more than 20 students.

“The depth of academic credentials and service to school and community among the year’s finalists were truly outstanding,” said Jack B. Jewett, President and CEO of the Flinn Foundation.  “The Selection Committee recommended going beyond our traditional class of 20 to provide these exemplary students the opportunity to spend their undergraduate years at Arizona’s universities.”

The new class includes the first Flinn Scholars chosen from Campo Verde High School in Gilbert, Hamilton Preparatory Academy in Chandler, Millennium High School in Goodyear, and Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Scottsdale, as well as the first-ever homeschooled Flinn Scholar.  The 22 Scholars represent 18 high schools in 13 cities and towns across Arizona: Chandler, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson, and Yuma.  Three schools had two Scholars chosen—Hamilton High in Chandler, Mountain Pointe High in Phoenix, and University High in Tucson.

As a group, the new Scholars averaged 1470 out of 1600 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and 32 out of 36 on the American College Test (ACT). Fourteen students were at least semifinalists in the National Merit competition—a benchmark honor of the top high-school students nationally.

“These students have impeccable academic records, though that alone is not sufficient to become a Flinn Scholar,” said Matt Ellsworth, Flinn Scholars Program director and a 1993 Flinn Scholar.  “Equally important is what the student has done outside the classroom—in school clubs, within the community, and through their own pursuits.  We’re looking for well-rounded individuals who will make a mark on Arizona and the world.”

Becoming a Flinn Scholar involves an application and interview process that is substantially more competitive than the admission process for the most selective liberal-arts colleges and research universities. The newest Scholars participated in two interviews in addition to completing a thorough application.  In March, 41 finalists were interviewed by a Selection Committee comprised of distinguished Arizona leaders.

The students will be formally introduced at a banquet on May 13 in Phoenix, where they and 23 Flinn Scholars graduating from Arizona’s universities will be honored before some 150 family members, university officials, and community leaders.  Each new Flinn Scholar also will recognize an educator of their choice who has influenced their education in an important way.

Delivering the keynote address at the event will be Lisan Peng, a 1989 Flinn Scholar and 1993 Rhodes Scholar.  Dr. Peng, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, studied at Oxford University and earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from the UCLA School of Medicine following her graduation from the University of Arizona.

To retain the scholarship, Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average and participate in campus or community activities.

The Flinn Scholars Program, begun in 1986, is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization based in Phoenix. The Foundation was established in 1965 by the late Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. In addition to the Scholars Program, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the arts, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.