Emma Fornes: From Peak to Park

There is a long list of scholarships available to students in North Carolina. One of the most notable, however, is the Park Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded only to 40 out of 2500 students who apply, and a rigorous application process is required. This year, Emma Fornes, a senior at Apex High School, has received this scholarship for her outstanding academic and leadership achievements.

The Parks Scholarship is an incredibly beneficial and life-changing experience. Its value is $116,000 for in-state students to attend North Carolina State University – this includes housing, books, meal plans, etc. However, what makes this scholarship so unique is its enriching opportunities for students that almost ensure long-term success. When asked about the scholarship, Emma described it as “not just a scholarship, but a program that really invests in you.” The Parks Scholarship aims to personal and professional development in scholarship, leadership, and service to its recipients.

Emma grew up a Wolfpack fan, so NC State has always been a college she was interested in. Her family history at NC State is extensive, and her dad was the one who encouraged her to apply for the Parks Scholarship. “I kept telling my dad that I wasn’t gonna get it, but he encouraged me to apply anyway. I am so glad he did,” she said. The process of getting the scholarship, however, was a challenging one. “It took an entire month. I had to write five or six essays about leadership, scholarship, service, and character,” she began. Three rounds and many interviews follow a basic screening process. “It took super long,” she added. However, all of Emma’s hard work and dedication paid off in the end. When asked what it was like to get rewarded this scholarship, she said, “it doesn’t really feel real. I remember they called me when I was in the middle of a really intense workout, so I was already out of breath. When they told me I got the scholarship, I just started screaming and crying.” The first thing she did as soon as she got off the phone told her mom the news, and her entire family was elated. “It was a really fun day,” she said.

In the end, Emma was quick to thank those around her who have helped her get where she is today, specifically Apex High School. “I’m so thankful for the support system Apex High has given me,” she stated. This scholarship was well deserved; congratulations to Emma Fornes, and we wish her the best of luck in her academic future!

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