Gifft Hill School senior Jessica Samuel found out just how much hard work and dedication really pay off.
Samuel learned last week that she not only got accepted, but was awarded a full four-year scholarship, to the prestigious Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
A member of the St. John Youth Committee, vice president of her school’s student council, president of the GHS National Honor’s Society and a member of the Junior Statesmen Foundation, Samuel has shown both maturity and dedication to her future and the community, explained GHS head Ben Biddle.
“Jessica has worked incredibly hard throughout her high school years and her scholarship is well-deserved,” said Biddle. “Wesleyan is absolutely one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. She is going to be at a fantastic place and is just going to do wonderfully there.”
“She is an incredibly focused student,” Biddle said.
St. John Youth Committee chairperson Paul Devine agreed.
“Jessica is a very active and very dedicated kid and she certainly deserves the scholarship,” Devine said. “She’s very bright and she worked very hard to get into the college of her choice and she did.”
The GHS senior was beside herself with excitement last week.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I’m amazed. I am proud of myself.”
“I made this happen because of all my hard work and the unconditional and consistent help of Mr. Chris Teare, our college counselor at school,” Samuel said.
Wesleyan was Samuel’s first choice for its top-notch academics and for its intimate setting, she explained.
“I love Wesleyan,” said Samuel. “I love its small setting in a small community. I love its liberal arts curriculum and strong academics.”
“Wesleyan is a great school in a great setting with great students and faculty and staff,” she continued. “I’m really excited.”
The mature young lady already has distinct plans for her future.
“My goal is to major in economics and I will then go on to business school and major in marketing and will one day become a CEO,” said Samuel.
Samuel went through the highly competitive QuestBridge program, an online scholarship program designed specifically for high-achieving low-income students, she explained.
“Chris Teare brought it to my attention and he suggested that I fill out an application,” the GHS senior said. “This was back in October and it was just a week before the deadline, so it was really hectic getting all the recommendations together and everything.”
After filling out the application and composing her essays, Samuel listed her top eight schools. The program matches students with the top school which they are accepted to, and for Samuel that was her first choice.
“There were more than 2,000 students who were finalists in the program and from them, there were only about 200 of us were actually accepted to schools of our choice,” said Samuel.
While not surprised that Samuel won the scholarship, her accomplishment is definitely impressive, Biddle added.
“Jessica has worked very hard and deserved the scholarship, at the same time because the competition is so intense for the QuestBridge, is was a wonderful surprise,” said Biddle.
After putting in countless hours of study, Samuel is now seeing the fruits of her labor.
“Everything I worked so hard for is paying off,” said Samuel.
The St. John Tradewinds joins GHS staff and Samuel’s family and friends in wishing the young St. John woman the utmost success in all her future endeavors.