2003 Sonlight Curriculum Scholarship Winners

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Fourth Annual Scholarship Competition

The Sonlight Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2003 Sonlight Curriculum College Scholarship Competition. All eight winners will be awarded four-year college scholarships to fund their attendance at the colleges of their choice.

The number of applicants continues to grow each year. We received 26 applications this year compared to 20 last year. I know it doesn't look like much, but that's actually 30% growth!

We found that the majority of this year's winners had used higher-level Sonlight programs. Nearly all of them had used one or more of the high school-level programs. This is a change from past years. It's exciting for us to see more families willing to tackle these upper-level programs.

We were also excited to see how well the winners had scored on the SATs. Of the winners who took the SATs: two scored 1300 or higher; four scored in the 1400s; and one (Joshua Okerman) scored a 1520! More proof that homeschooled students have the skills it takes to succeed.

It was difficult (as always) for us to choose this year's winners.

$5000, 4-Year Scholarship ($20,000 total)

  • Matthew P. Downer of Signal Mountain, Tennessee won this year's $5000 scholarship. Matthew, who plans to become a lawyer, will attend Harvard University this fall, where he plans to study Government. He feels very blessed to have such an opportunity and is grateful for Sonlight's financial assistance in pursuing his education. Throughout his time in high school, Matthew has sought out opportunities to lead and influence those around him. He feels called to be a witness and example throughout his life and believes that the relationships he will form at Harvard will be a perfect opportunity to live out that mission.

$2500, 4-Year Scholarship ($10,000 total)

  • Joshua K. A. Okerman of Kita-ku Kobe-shi, Japan won one of this year's $2500 scholarships. Joshua has a strong interest in film. In fact, he spent two and a half years of his free time making a film entitled Takayama Ukon, A Warrior of Faith. Though he is unsure of where he will attend college, he is seriously considering both Wheaton College and Colorado Christian University.
  • Sharon M. Havens of Pinckney, Michigan also won a $2500 scholarship. Sharon has a passion for science and children. Because of this, she feels strongly called to be a pediatrician. She expects that the education she receives at Hope College will move her closer to her goals and prepare her for her life's work.

$1000, 4-Year Scholarship ($4,000 total)

  • Megan C. Simila of Juneau, Alaska plans to attend the University of Alaska Southeast to pursue a degree in education. She also plans to utilize the college's exchange program to broaden her cultural experiences. Megan says, "The more I broaden my background, the more people I'll be able to reach with God's love and truth."
  • Karissa B. Clark of Yaounde, Cameroon has an active interest in journalism. The daughter of missionaries, she would like to carry on her own ministry by working with a Christian newspaper or magazine abroad. Karissa believes her immediate plan to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at Multnomah Bible College will help prepare her for a career in journalism, or any other work that God calls her to.
  • Peter D. Iceboat of Colorado Springs, Colorado intends to use his talents in design, art, math, and science to pursue a career in aerospace or aeronautical engineering. He hopes that the training he receives while attending Wheaton College will prepare him to be a positive Christian witness within what is currently a highly secularized field of work.
  • Jarred S. Williams-Yaw of West Point, New York believes his attendance at the University of Alabama in Huntsville will help him lay a firm foundation for the achievement of both his personal goals and what he feels is God's will for his life. He plans to major in electrical engineering and minor in business, and hopes to one day become influential in politics.
  • Curtis L. Censer of Mansfield, Connecticut is skilled in both mathematics and physics. He desires to utilize his skills in the field of engineering so he can design and produce products that will greatly benefit peoples' lives. Although he is unsure of where he will attend college, he has applied for admittance to five universities and one technical school.

Congratulations to all of this year's winners! We are excited for what God will do in and through the lives of these young men and women. We are privileged to play a part, however small, in helping them reach their dreams and goals.

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