Scholarship opportunities abound

Senior lands major financial reward


After hours of hard work poured into school, band and Eagle Scouts, Senior Richard Stewart sees all of his work paid off through a scholarship that will change the senior’s future.

Stewart plans on attending North Carolina State in the fall of next year and majoring in Computer Science, except unlike most NC State students, Stewart is a part of the Park Scholars.

The scholarship is valued for $250,000 over four years. Along with other scholars, Stewart has access to a pool of grants. The scholarship is pulled from Roy Park’s fortune after he passed and caters to a variety of students.

“The program is a scholarship based on leadership, service, and character. It’s basically just trying to find kids who act like they have a wide net of accomplishments, not just in academics or sports, to give them more of an opportunity at NC State,” Stewart said.

To gain the scholarship, Steward had to go through three rounds for the selection process. The first writing essays, the second online interviews and finally third was in person interviews at NC State.

“I was going around asking all these kids. It was very much like an imposter syndrome situation, meeting a lot of the kids that were eligible for that scholarship. So when I found out that I actually got the scholarship, I was very, very happy. because number one, it pretty much made my college decision,” Stewart said. “I knew I wouldn’t have to take out loans, which was like life changing in a way and it made me feel good because I knew that I like all the hard work in high school amounted to something that I would say is a pretty big accomplishment.”

Stewart was first attracted to NC State to the opportunities it presented, and the diversity of Raleigh, in terms of thought and culture. Planning on majoring in Computer Science, Stewart hopes the field will provide flexibility.

“I chose it somewhat for the lifestyle it entails because I know it’s very flexible… I’ll be able to travel a lot after I get out of college, jobs in the CS field would enable that because a lot of them are remote,” Stewart said.

Since the scholarship is given to students with a multitude of backgrounds, Stewart attributes his gaining it to his extracurriculars and how they have helped him grow as a person.

“I got my Eagle Scout with a project that I’m very proud of, scouts gave me a lot of leadership opportunities that I think helped me in terms of being able to lead and talk to other people. The other thing that’s I think probably really helped me was band… “The opportunities that that program has given me I think are phenomenal in terms of developing my ability to like interacting with other people and giving me the opportunity to not only lead but to make some really good friends that encourage me to do better,” Stewart said.

Besides the money provided towards his education, Stewart believes the scholarship will help him in many ways in his future.

“I think that Park Scholarship will help me…I think the networking opportunities that it will provide, in terms of finding internships and other scholarships, … Also, in terms of being in college, I think it’ll help me not only establish a community of people very fast, It also provides me with resources to succeed academically,” Stewart said.

Stewart is thankful for the scholarship and thankful for those who guided him along the way.

“I recognize that I’m really happy when it comes that I got the scholarship and I know I couldn’t have done it without the help, not only my friends at school, but like my family because they’ve all been super supportive. Especially my teachers, they helped me a lot,” Stewart said.