Last year's Sterling Scholars offer advice to this year's nominees

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 9:15 a.m. MST

Hailey James

Year: 2013, American Fork High School

Category winner: Science

General Sterling Scholar award

Where are they now? Studying at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Looking back: “I’m really grateful for the Sterling Scholar scholarship, and I also learned a lot throughout the process. I think the interviewing skills we acquired alone were worth it.”

Advice for this year’s nominees: “Enjoy it! Sterling Scholar will be a defining experience of your senior year, so make the most of it. It can be stressful and definitely a lot of work, but it’s also a great way to reflect on the last few years of your life and all you’ve accomplished. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet some of the coolest kids in Utah.”

Sarah Fletcher

Year: 2013, Mountain View High School

Category winner: Skilled & Technical Sciences Education

Where are they now? Studying mechanical engineering, computer science and astronomy at Brigham Young University.

Looking back: “The (Sterling Scholar) program has given me the opportunity to be able to go to school and only focus on my studies. I might not have been able to go to college this first year without it, but it wasn’t really about the scholarship. The whole experience has helped me grow more confident in myself, as well as help me be more comfortable around my superiors. There are so many people who want to help you in the program, and it shows how good people really can be. I am so grateful for the opportunities the Sterling Scholar program has opened to me.”

Advice for this year’s nominees: “Be yourself in the interview. These people who make this program possible, and the judges who are there to question you are your friends. They have given so much time and effort for this chance for you to show the world what you can do. When you go into your interview, sincerely thank them for their time, because they are not there to put you down; they are there to help you. They want you to succeed. Relax and treat them respectfully as a friend. Specifically to the Skilled & Technical Sciences scholars, I would say to try to include as many aspects of the category as you can. Look at the list of things you can include carefully and thoughtfully. Judges love it when you are well rounded but are still talented and skilled at what you do.”

Eric Charles Wilcox

Year: 2013, Westlake High School

Category winner: Family and Consumer Sciences

Where are they now? Freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, with an intended major in development studies, with concentrations in political science and Sub-Saharan Africa, with a minor in public policy.

Looking back: “My experience in the Sterling Scholar program was one of the best memories of high school. It was great to create a portfolio highlighting leadership, service and academic contributions to my department. I applaud the program for selecting diverse finalists, all with unique backgrounds and talents. It was amazing to sit among these students during the Sterling Scholar awards ceremony, and it is clear that the program will remain successful if such diverse achievements and future leaders are sought. Becoming a state winner in my category was tremendously humbling and rewarding: I had truly grown personally and professionally through Family& Consumer Sciences.”

Advice for this year’s nominees: “You will go far as long as you show confidence and passion in your field. The best of luck!”

Carley Herrick

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