Zoey Twyford and Tianna Briese, from Minnehaha Academy's senior class, had their dreams come true when they were awarded the Questbridge National College Match Scholarship. The Questbridge National Match Scholarship helps outstanding students from lower income families gain admission and full four-year scholarships to the nation's most selective colleges. More than 71 percent of awardees are in the top 5 percent of their high school class. This year there were 440 scholarship recipients from 12,818 applicants around the country.
Twyford, who is gifted in languages (Chinese and Latin) will be attending the University of Chicago, and Briese is on her way to Vanderbilt University in Nashville to study Spanish, biological sciences and eventually go to medical school.
Minnehaha Academy College guidance counselor, Richard Harris, encouraged the seniors to apply based on their excellent academic records and extracurricular involvement. The application for the Questbridge National College Match Scholarship is rather difficult for students to complete, because it requires extensive essays, recommendation letters, and because students need to submit a variety of different documents to different colleges.
"Because only about 3 percent of applicants are granted this scholarship, it is extremely uncommon that two students from the same school would receive the Questbridge Scholarship," said Harris. "It's an honor for our school to have two students represented."
"Zoey and I had been waiting for an update because we knew it would be posted that day," said Briese. "We were so nervous, and I was going through the motions really slow because my hands were shaking so badly. Then I read 'congratulations' and 'Vanderbilt' and I just smiled. It hasn't sunk in that next year I'll be going to Vanderbilt for free."
Minnehaha Academy is a private, college preparatory PreK to 12th grade school that has been integrating Christian faith and learning for over 100 years. Located in Minneapolis, it serves students from all backgrounds, from across the Twin Cities metropolitan area.