The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has named five Shawnee Mission students 2021 Semifinalists.
Out of 99,403 applicants, only 1.6% were selected to be semifinalists. They are now in consideration to be regional finalists. Coca-Cola Scholars receive a $20,000 college scholarship.
Shawnee Mission’s honorees are:
Hananeel Morinville, Shawnee Mission North senior
Glory (Nkemjika) Obi, Shawnee Mission North senior
Elena Peters, Shawnee Mission East senior
Samantha Thomas, Shawnee Mission East senior
Ava Yun, Shawnee Mission East senior
Hananeel Morinville serves as President of multiple student organizations. She is President of the senior class, Coalition of Racial Equality, National French Honor Society, Speech and Debate, DECA, and the National Honor Society. She also serves as Speaker of the House as part of Youth and Government. Morinville is interested in history and is considering a major in Political Science with a minor in history.
“Not everything at North came easy and there were times when I was faced with adversity,” Morinville said. “These times allowed me to understand the importance of my voice and how to use it to uplift others.”
Glory (Nkemjika) Obi recently learned she has earned a full-ride scholarship to Stanford University through a program called the QuestBridge National College Match. Obi is also a Gates Scholarship semifinalist. She is involved in numerous activities, serving as Pep Club President, competes in varsity soccer and girls tennis, Key Club, National Honor Society, and is co-founder of Coalition of Racial Equality (with Morinville). She also serves as President of the Senate for Kansas Youth and Government Conference. Obi is considering majoring in political science or international relations and plans to minor in African and African American Studies.
“Since my elementary school days at Rushton Elementary to Hocker Grove Middle and now Shawnee Mission North High, I have been wholeheartedly supported by teachers, staff, and the North area community every step of the way,” Obi stated. “I have no idea where I would be today if it were not for my teachers and counselors who have always encouraged me to reach for the stars and guided me every step of the way.”
Elena Peters says her favorite classes are AP Biology 2 and a social skills class with students enrolled in special education. Peters is involved in SHARE, tennis, LINK Crew, Pack of Pals, twin club, and is a National Honor Society officer. She is considering biology as her major with the hope of attending medical school.
“My ultimate goal is to help others,” Elena added.
Samantha Thomas’s academic interests range from STEM subjects and classes with more of a humanities and liberal arts focus. She shares, “Taking classes through the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) really helped spark my interest in the medical field.” Thomas added, “Being able to take classes through the CAA has given me an opportunity to learn in a new way that a lot of students don’t get to experience.” She has been involved in bowling, volleyball, softball, and symphonic orchestra.
Ava Yun’s plans for the future include Business management in financing and accounting, as Math is her favorite subject. Some of her extracurricular activities include DECA, SHARE, Junior Board, Golf, intern at the SM Education Foundation, work as an Operations Manager at Energizing Mission, Marketing and Logistics Consultant at Energize OP, and Stanford Pre-Collegiate. Yun shares, “All of these have taught me that to be successful, you need to work as a team,” Yun added.
In its 32nd year, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.