PEF announced Thursday that the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship Fund has awarded an extraordinary all-expenses-paid scholarship to two local students: Zachary Egger and Amanda Stewart of Soddy Daisy High School. The award will cover four years of tuition and fees, room and board, books, a laptop, and a stipend to the college or university of the student’s choice beginning in the fall of 2014.
“It has been my honor to work with Zac and to see him grow from a quiet, shy sixth grader to the wonderful young man he is today,” says Soddy Daisy High gifted education teacher Karen Ward. “When he’s not pursuing his academic interests, Zac volunteers at the Soddy Daisy Food Bank. Zac sees and perceives need and jumps in without hesitation to get the job done. With Zac’s high hopes of attending a premier institution of higher learning to become a physician, it was my pleasure to recommend him for the Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship.”
Nancy Zuber is Amanda Stewart’s school counselor. “While Amanda’s academic achievements are consistent and exemplary, she also distinguishes herself by participating in a variety of activities with her community and school. She has amassed well over 300 hours of volunteer work at Erlanger Hospital, Soddy Daisy Nursing Home, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Children’s Discovery Museum in just two years,” says Ms. Zuber.
Wendy Sigette, Stewart’s math teacher, adds, “Amanda’s work ethic is commendable. She consistently completed her homework through a grueling soccer season with many demands on her time. Honors Algebra 2 is not an easy course; Amanda worked with a smile through it all with the goal of a deeper understanding of the concepts.”
Not only are these remarkable students, but it is remarkable that Hamilton County has two award winners from the same school this year, out of 10 awards presented across the U.S., officials said. Gail Levin, director of the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship and School Funds, explained: “In general, the scholarship program authorizes an award to a single student in each of its partner sites across the country. This year, however, program administrators struggled with the task of choosing just one candidate in Chattanooga. Ultimately, the Selection Council offered scholarships to Zac and Amanda as they both demonstrate the academic credentials, personal qualities, and great promise exemplifying Leonore Annenberg Scholars.”
The Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund identifies high school juniors of uncommon intelligence, empathy, and drive who overcome challenging circumstances and demonstrate exceptional character and academic achievement. It was established in 2007 by Mrs. Leonore Annenberg as part of a 10-year initiative to offer grants and scholarships to young people who possess the potential to become leaders of the next generation.
In partnership with the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund, PEF College Advisors worked to identify and nominate eligible local applicants from Hamilton County high schools. They collected letters of recommendation and transcripts to complete applications for consideration by the Annenberg selection committee. In addition, PEF will serve as fiscal agent for the scholarship.
"We are so pleased to be able to help these two extraordinary young people,” says PEF President Dan Challener. “Their strong character, academic ability and commitment to service clearly reflect the goals of Leonore Annenberg in establishing this generous scholarship, and Hamilton County should be proud to have them as members of our community.”
Leonore Annenberg (1918-2009) served as U.S. Chief of Protocol during the first term of the administration of Ronald Reagan. She served on numerous boards and received many prestigious awards for her philanthropic work, and spent most of her life working toward the enhancement of cultural appreciation among American citizens. Mrs. Annenberg was married for 51 years to the late Walter H. Annenberg, publisher, philanthropist, and art collector, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Britain from 1969 to 1974. She succeeded her late husband as chairman and president of the Annenberg Foundation, and continued to donate to worthy causes in the fields of education, the arts, health, and civic affairs.
The Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Unsolicited scholarship requests are not accepted. Visit leonoreannenbergscholarships.org for more information.
PEF is an advocate for the region and Hamilton County schools and its teachers, leaders, and students. For almost 25 years, they have worked in partnership with Hamilton County schools and provide training, research, and resources to teachers, principals, and schools. Their mission is to increase student achievement so all students succeed in learning and in life. PEF has helped to bring more than $60 million in supplemental, philanthropic funding to the school system to help achieve that mission. Learn more at pefchattanooga.org
Principal John Maynard speaking to family members, friends, school personnel, and guests of Zac and Amanda at a celebration held Thursday afternoon at Soddy Daisy High.