2024 Sonlight Scholarship Winners Announced

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Yes...you can homeschool through high school! Meet this year's bright, accomplished, servant-hearted Sonlight Scholarship winners. These exceptional Sonlight-educated students are poised to make a difference in the world. As the winners of our annual Sonlight scholarship competition, they have each been awarded $20,000, $10,000, or $4,000 for college.

Many of these students have used Sonlight since they were young. They’re headed into promising careers in engineering, arts, medicine, missionary work, law, and more. Most are headed to their college of choice, and many have superb SAT or ACT scores.

But they are also kind, big-hearted young adults. Through ministry and volunteerism, they live life with Jesus in their hearts and long to share God’s kingdom with the world.

$20,000 Scholarship Winner: Sarah C. of Bombo, Uganda

Awarded $5,000 Per Year

Growing up as a missionary kid in Uganda, Sarah gave her life to the Lord at the age of four with the understanding that everything she does is completely for and directed by God.

A Sonlighter since preschool, if anything can take her back to her childhood, it’s the smell of a story treasured within the dusty pages of a well-loved Sonlight book. Sarah’s years in Sonlight not only sparked in her an eager love of learning and teaching, but it also enabled her to view the world through the eyes of people from various cultures and backgrounds, teaching her to step into the messiness of people’s stories with compassion and empathy.

Inspired by several biographies she read in Sonlight, at five years old, Sarah developed a passionate love for China. Beginning at age nine, she dedicated herself to learning Mandarin Chinese. She dreams of one day creating a space wherever she is where people can feel welcome and ultimately loved by the Father.

Passionate about discipleship, missions, and education, Sarah loves spending time with people, ministering alongside her parents, serving and hosting, reading historical fiction, spontaneously baking and cooking, worshipping the Lord through song, and working on various kinds of artistic projects.

Throughout high school, she has had the privilege of serving by participating in Bible trainings with her family, leading an online student chapel, assisting her older brother in creating Bible films for Bricktime Studios, designing graphics for various Bible and ministry resources, running a worship lyric YouTube channel, and coordinating worship sets for community devotions and ministry trainings.

Her love of teaching and languages drew her to English as a Second Language (ESL) education, a course of study that will equip her with practical skills she can use wherever the Lord leads. A National Merit Finalist, Sarah has been accepted into the honors program at Liberty University, where she will pursue a degree in ESL with minors in linguistics and Chinese.

Whatever the future holds, Sarah goes forward propelled by her love for Christ and her desire to share His story with the world.

Sarah C.

$10,000 Scholarship Winners: Aiden L. of Southeast Asia, Jasmine S. of Mechanicsburg, PA, and John J. of Santee, CA

Awarded $2,500 Per Year

Aiden L. lives in a remote area of Southeast Asia and absolutely loves it there. He feels so blessed to have been able to grow up in multiple different countries across the world. God has used the many different experiences and opportunities to shape Aiden into the person God wants him to be.

Having grown up traveling frequently, Aiden and his family are so thankful for Sonlight and have used Sonlight since kindergarten through high school. Aiden loves the flexibility that Sonlight provides and how that’s meant that he’s been able to dive deep into subjects he loves, particularly history. He has found that all the Sonlight books he has read have greatly deepened his knowledge and challenged his way of thinking.

Because of Sonlight’s flexibility, Aiden has had many opportunities to pursue non-academic interests, such as carpentry and soccer. From an early age, Aiden has always loved carpentry and is almost always working on one project or another. His family’s house is filled with his creations! Aiden is also passionate about soccer, and God has used this in amazing ways. It has been the main way that Aiden has connected with people in South-East Asia and through playing soccer he has become a loved member of the local community. Whether it’s playing on the local team, organizing his own team, or coaching young kids, soccer provides a multitude of ways to build relationships in the local community.

Aiden is going to attend Redeemer University in Hamilton, ON beginning in the fall of 2024 and plans to study psychology and sports coaching. Although Aiden does not yet know what God’s long-term plan is for him, he is determined to seek to serve and glorify God wherever and whatever he is doing. Aiden believes that all Christians should be seeking to serve others and to share the Gospel with those around them and his dream is to do great things for the Kingdom of God. Whatever plans God has for Aiden he will seek to humbly do God’s will and to strive in everything to glorify Him.

Aiden L.

Jasmine S. of Mechanicsburg, PA is the second child in her family to graduate using Sonlight’s homeschool curriculum. Following in her elder sister’s footsteps, Jasmine began her education with Sonlight’s preschool program. Not only has this educational experience increased her love for learning, but she has also grown in her relationship with Jesus and desire for missions. Through the years, Jasmine discovered her love for math and science, eventually leading her to the decision to become an engineer. In addition, the abundance of missionary stories offered through Sonlight inspired her from a young age, instilling a desire to serve the Lord in missions. Specifically, the story of Gladys Alward’s work in China motivated Jasmine to begin studying Mandarin at age 12.

Jasmine has always sought ways to serve others. At home she cheerfully helps with chores, taking care of the dog, and tutoring her younger siblings in math. At her church, Jasmine has volunteered with the nursery and served with her youth group on two mission trips, first in the city of Harrisburg and later in Guatemala. During this second trip, she learned that serving others is one of the most important ways of sharing God’s love. From this experience, Jasmine knew she wanted to somehow use her interest in math and science to serve others.

Last spring when she attended a Messiah University open house for engineering, Jasmine began to see that her hope to find a way to use math and science to serve others is possible. Messiah’s engineering program requires students to join teams working on projects with mission organizations for their capstone project. By attending Messiah University and majoring in electrical engineering, Jasmine is hoping to have the opportunity, not only to become an excellent engineer but also to provide solutions for human needs around the world—projects like installing solar panels for an orphanage in Zambia or designing inexpensive yet effective wheelchairs for a hospital in Nepal. Ultimately, Jasmine hopes that through her college education, she will find opportunities to follow Christ’s call to spread the gospel and to “wash each other’s feet” (John 13:14, NLT).

Jasmine S.

John J. of Santee, CA, has been homeschooled using Sonlight his whole life. Homeschooling has allowed him the flexibility to pursue and develop his many interests, talents, and passions, all for the glory of God.

John is a small group leader at his church and enjoys serving his fellow students and leading them in the study of God’s word. While challenging at times, this role has pushed John to better understand the Bible and show compassion to his peers. He also plays piano on his youth group’s worship team, allowing him to do something he loves while serving the church.

In addition to piano, John plays French Horn in Concert Ensemble and Trumpet in Jazz Band. He enjoys composing music, and has scored several student films, winning Best Film Score in the Christian Youth Film Festival.

John loves to critically analyze everything, be it philosophical ideas, policies, or his younger sister’s grammar when she uses him as her editor. An avid speaker and debater for six years, John has won Lincoln Douglas Value Debate and Parliamentary Debate at multiple tournaments in addition to numerous speech events, receiving the Tournament Champion award at the SoCal Classic. He is thankful for the opportunity that his speech and debate league Stoa has given him to grow in skill and knowledge and has enjoyed teaching younger students what he has learned.

In the fall, John will attend Patrick Henry College where he plans to study American Politics and Policy. After that, he plans to attend law school. He doesn’t know what all the Lord has in store for him, but he hopes to defend truth and justice wherever he is called.

John J.

$4,000 Scholarship Winners: Ava T., Avery A., Chelsea H., Ella H., Hana R., Henry F., Joshua H., Vivienne C.

Awarded $1,000 Per Year

Ava Thompson of Tacoma, Washington, has always been a reader. When she’s found with a book in her hand, which is always, it’s usually from Sonlight. Since Ava was in kindergarten, Sonlight has been the backbone of her study, providing a strong story-centered background in history, government, worldview, and more. As she has expanded her extracurriculars throughout high school, her strong education has enabled her to learn quickly and work determinedly at everything she attempts.

Ava has studied Latin for nine years, sparking a love of language and history that she holds to this day. She has been awarded two perfect papers and three gold medals for her results in the National Latin Exam. In college, Ava will be studying Advanced Latin before her sophomore trip to Rome.

Ava has been a hobby writer for as long as she could hold a pencil, trying to emulate the books she loves like friends, such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, David Copperfield, and Brideshead Revisited. She dabbles in poetry and describes writing as a way to process and expand on your own experiences, even when they’re cloaked in fiction.

During junior year, Ava joined a speech and debate club. Her natural gifts of argumentation (which her family may not have always called gifts) led to her speech on linguistics placing 19th nationally, and this season, she is already pre-qualified for Nationals in debate and has also met success with her speeches. Ava and her brother won first place as they performed a speech based on Don Quixote, another of Ava’s favorite books. Two of her other speeches have placed second and fifth.

Ava is attending the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in the fall to earn a degree in the liberal arts; beyond that, she is undecided between pursuing law or linguistics. Either way, she plans to make a difference in her world for Christ, starting with her baptism this Easter after being raised in a strong Christian household. Her motto, which she tries to represent in all her work, is per ipsum, pro ipsum–through Him, for Him.

Ava T.

Avery A. lives with her family in Jenks, Oklahoma where she and her two younger siblings have been homeschooled their whole lives. Avery is proud to say that she has used Sonlight from Pre-K through senior year, and she has loved every moment of it. Early on, Sonlight’s literature-based cores caused Avery to fall in love with books and turned her into an avid reader. She has discovered many new favorites through Sonlight, and she has also read hundreds of non-school books in her free time. Avery is so thankful for the life skills homeschooling has taught her, such as responsibility, discipline, time management, and excellence. Her faith has also been strengthened by the many faith stories she has read for school. Avery is sad to say goodbye to Sonlight when she graduates, but she is also eager for her future. She plans to attend John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, major in mechanical engineering, and minor in music.

Avery has always loved to learn new things about the world around her, and because of this, she has always had a love for science. Another one of Avery’s deep passions is serving other people, which she does constantly through her church. When she discovered that engineering means using science and math in practical ways to help make the world better and safer for others, she knew that being an engineer would be a great fit! Additionally, engineering is a perfect way for her to fulfill her dream of working for NASA one day.

Some of Avery’s hobbies include—besides reading—spending time with friends and family, going camping, listening to music, and playing the piano. She has played piano for over eleven years and has played with the student worship team at her church throughout high school. She loves using her talents to worship God in this way.

Avery believes that, ultimately, everyone is called to live a life that serves Jesus first and second others. She hopes and prays that her plans for the future will glorify God and help others experience Him.

Avery A.

Chelsea H. of Greer, SC, has been educated at home since kindergarten and has used Sonlight curriculum since 2nd grade. From the age of two years old, Chelsea has loved various forms of artistic expression including dance, drama, music, photography, and especially drawing.

Chelsea’s study and practice of art have led her to illustrate two children’s books for author Susan Perry and complete 15 commissioned art pieces. Chelsea also worked as an art teacher’s assistant for two summers at the beloved art studio Creating Artists for Tomorrow, where she had previously been an art student for nine years. Chelsea now has the joy of sharing her love of art with two home-educated elementary students as their private art teacher. You can follow Chelsea’s art pursuits on Instagram @_sunshine_scribbles_

In February of 2023, Chelsea was chosen as the first-place high school winner of the Home School Legal Defense Association’s 2022-2023 National Art Contest. Her piece was chosen out of 60 other submissions. Chelsea was awarded $500, and her winning piece is on display at the HSLDA headquarters at Patrick Henry College.

Chelsea is honored to be a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the National Home School Honor Society (Eta Sigma Alpha, Rho Gamma Chapter).

When Chelsea is not drawing or studying, she enjoys teaching preschoolers at her church, delivering food and smiles for Meals on Wheels, pet sitting, and spending time with friends and family.

Chelsea will attend North Greenville University in the fall, where she was recently awarded the Trustee Academic Merit Scholarship and the SC Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. Chelsea will be majoring in Art with a concentration in Drawing. She hopes to continue illustrating books and one day own an art studio where she can teach children, offer art therapy, and share the love of Jesus. Chelsea’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 28:7. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore, my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song.”

Chelsea H.

Ella H., of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, has joyfully devoured inspiring and enlightening Sonlight materials from an early age, even as she spent 4 years attending a variety of local Spanish-language schools. Ella has given generously of herself on behalf of abandoned special needs children in myriad ways since her first adoptive sibling arrived when she was just 3, apart from volunteering as a helpful daughter with her missionary parents who founded and direct their children’s home, Judah Quy: Casa de los Preciosos. She has served as an outstanding substitute mom to children with a broad variety of health and neurological challenges, a curriculum and social adaptor for one blind student who mainstreamed into a sighted Bolivian school last year, and a volunteer in the home’s communication program helping the children overcome severe limitations to express themselves with pictograms and haptic signs. She is also a proud big sister to 12 younger siblings, most of whom have been adopted from that home.

Ella speaks English and Spanish and has moderate capabilities in American Sign Language, Bolivian Sign Language, and Braille. In her free time, you will find her reading (and rereading) her beloved Sonlight books! You will also find her spending time with her Labrador Cora (she has helped raise three generations of Labradors where the money from the sales of puppies goes to the home). She also loves to cook and bake as well as paint (she has painted murals of Bolivian wildlife at home with her best friend).

Ella believes that God is possibly leading her to study medicine to help meet the overwhelming need for charitable pediatric subspecialists in her community, and hopes you'll pray for her as she follows His lead.

Ella H.

Hana Ross of Rosamond, CA, is a military child who has used Sonlight since 2nd grade, which has helped grow her love of learning. She loves problem-solving, math, and science. This love of academics was developed by Sonlight’s amazing curriculum and by hands-on science labs at a homeschool co-op. At this co-op, Hana is the leader of the yearbook staff, which involves editing, designing, and taking photos for a 70-page yearbook.

Outside of academics, Hana is also a talented musician who seeks to serve Christ by playing piano and violin for her church. She is also heavily involved in a local orchestra and was selected to play in the High School Honors Chamber group. She plays guitar for her homeschool co-op and has started teaching violin lessons to young students.

Another passion of Hana’s is sports. She is happy to play anything with a ball and a score and is often found playing organized sports or just soccer or frisbee with her friends. She is captain of her official soccer team and organizes weekly matches with several other homeschool families as well. In her free time, she enjoys baking and preparing goodies for families she knows.

As she begins this next stage of life, Hana wants to solve problems and make the world a better place to live in. She seeks to be the kind of person who serves everyone around her and desires to love Christ with her whole heart and to glorify Him in everything she does. Her ultimate goal is to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)

This fall, Hana is headed to Cedarville University in Ohio to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.

Hana R.

Henry F. of Stanwood, WA is the oldest of six, all of whom have been using Sonlight since preschool. He supplemented this with dual enrollment courses in his junior and senior years, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. The Sonlight-assigned books read over the years have helped to shape and strengthen the way he views and interacts with the world around him.

He has an avid love for sports. He was able to compete in sports through the local high school, playing soccer and also running varsity cross country for three years, one as a captain.

Church and ministry have been a big part of Henry’s family life. His great-grandfather and namesake was a pastor. His grandparents taught in Christian schools. He has grown up with a front-row view of ministry life. When he was five years old, his dad, as the lead pastor, assisted in the planting of a church. Henry has had many different opportunities to serve in the church and has helped in Sunday school, coffee bar, leading in youth group, etc. He is always willing to jump in and lend a hand no matter the task. Henry also has a passion for music and has been drumming since the age of ten. This has allowed him to assist in leading worship, both on Sundays and at youth group as well as to help others improve their musical ability.

Sonlight’s College and Career Planning course was instrumental in helping him choose the course he is currently pursuing a career in counseling. Henry has always loved working with and being around people. He believes that the different worldview perspectives he has gained through the many books he read for school have prepared him for a job dealing with people experiencing all kinds of situations. He is considering a few different colleges right now but whichever one he decides on, he is looking to study psychology. He is aware that though this is the path that he is following right now, God’s plan may be different, but he is excited to figure out where that path leads.

Henry F.

Joshua H. of London, Ohio, grew up in in the bustling metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil. He used Sonlight from his first chapter books to his American Government explorations in his high school years. He speaks English and Portuguese at home with his missionary parents and his siblings who also use Sonlight. Josh has taken advantage of the opportunities presented to him to immerse himself in a variety of activities. From sailing, mountain biking and fighting taekwondo to capturing unique moments through photography, working in graphic design, building computers and programming, he always seeks to dive into whatever learning opportunities are available.

When reflecting on the impact of Sonlight on his mental, physical, and spiritual formation through the past 12 years, Josh concluded that, “reading is the academic pursuit that Sonlight prioritizes above all others, and I believe that growing up learning to read a diverse range of genres has expanded my view of the world and led me to develop a more holistic view of life.” He credits the way Sonlight is structured for instilling his love of learning.

Josh also enjoys serving through music. First learning classical and jazz guitar, he sought a way to apply his skills for the use of the church body. Through leading youth worship and playing electric guitar on the worship team, he has seen music draw people closer to God and to each other. Recently he has sought to find new ways to expand his musical vocabulary through piano and keyboard.

As he moves into his next phase of life, Josh wants to serve the kingdom through business and inspire others to seek new solutions to old problems. He desires to be a model of Christ and live in uncompromising faith as he has seen men of faith in his community doing. One day he would like to pour into the young men around him that which he has received and benefitted from.

Joshua H.

Vivienne C., of Monument, CO, has been homeschooled since she was in the second grade utilizing Sonlight’s curriculum from the beginning until her graduation. Sonlight’s unique combination of literature and history together was the highlight of her education. She has also enjoyed her dual enrollment college courses, in preparation for her future college education. Vivienne is excited to begin studying marketing/business this fall at a Christian college in the honors program.

Vivienne is enthusiastic in all her pursuits. Whether it is reading her favorite author, Jane Austen, or studying a historical event, she immerses herself in whatever she is learning. She has instituted family Regency-era dinner parties where her family dresses up, discusses the issues of that period, and dines together as if they are in the 19th century. She loves to have fun and has even led worship dressed as a Christmas tree (complete with lights!) for her youth Christmas party.

Vivienne, as a homeschool student, played JV and Varsity golf for her local high school. She has played the piano for 8 years and studied guitar for the last 4 years, focusing on worship and jazz guitar. She also loves working with horses at a historical ranch, learning groundwork and riding. She has also served on two church mission trips, reaching out to communities that are often overlooked.

Vivienne leads worship each week for her youth group on guitar and vocals. She has had a missional focus throughout her high school career, devoting her time and her heart to leading worship. She has felt called to facilitate worship for her peers knowing that for some, it may be their only opportunity to worship during the week. She looks forward to continuing her love for leading worship in college, whether serving in chapel or in a small group in her dorm. She loves using her talents for the glory of God.

Vivienne C.

Could Your Young Learner Win a Sonlight Scholarship?

From preschool through high school graduation, Sonlight prepares your students. We have the big picture in mind, and we help you raise students prepared to launch into any career God calls them to. We share your desire to help your children succeed, and we’ll walk alongside to help you create the long-term educational experience you envision.

Did you know we've awarded more than $1.8 million to Sonlight graduates to date?

Each year, our charitable foundation offers a number of college scholarships, ranging from $4,000 to $20,000, spread over four years. Each year, the Sonlight Foundation offers the following scholarships:

  • $5,000 per year
  • $2,500 per year
  • $1,000 per year

We offer scholarships on two tracks: one emphasizes academics, and the other creativity, mission-mindedness, and service. Got a perfect score on the SAT? Got average test scores, but served overseas during summer vacation for the last three years? In either case, you may qualify.

The Sonlight Foundation recognizes that academic giftedness is only one type of giftedness. If your student is gifted in academics, service, music, art, or has a heart for missions, we encourage you to submit an application.

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