Valedictorian receives art scholarship

By Shian Omar | Features Editor

amber chen pearce web.jpg

Senior Amber Chen recently won the Excellence in AP Arts and Music Theory Award from the O’Donnell Foundation. She met all requirements and passed an intense interview to be one of the four students to receive the scholarship.

When Amber took AP Art history her sophomore year, the Pearce AP arts classes were supported by the O’Donnell Foundation.

“They sponsor grants all over the Dallas area, pay for the AP fine arts exams and sponsor a lot of field trips,” Amber said.

To apply for the scholarship, a student has to have a minimum GPA of 3.6, an SAT score of 1900 or ACT of 28 and not have already received full tuition to the college she plans to attend.

Once everyone applies, there are 10 finalists who are chosen to do interviews.

“You go in there and there is this big round table, and you are sitting at the end and there are these five ladies that are asking you a bunch of questions,” Amber said. “It was really intimidating.”

All 10 finalists have their interviews in the same day.

“It’s 15 minutes on the dot, and once your 15 minutes is up, you go,” Amber said.

In just two days after the interview, Amber got a call to let her know that she was one of the final four who could be receiving a $20,000 scholarship. The reception for the award was on April 8.

“It was crazy because they were all guys, and they are going to Harvard and Yale,” Amber said.

Amber will be attending University of Texas at Austin to study Bio-Medical Engineering. She additionally has the desire to focus on the liberal arts.

“I don’t want to just go to college and only learn about math and science and ignore history, because I think the humanities are so important,” Amber said.

Currently, Amber is a part of Science UIL and placed fifth individually and first for Biology in the district meet. The next step for UIL is the regional competition in early May.

“If Amber is able to successfully move past this round of competition, she will travel to the state contest in mid-May in Austin,” Science UIL coach Matthew Fields said. “A student that makes it to the state academic competition is eligible for scholarships through the TILF Foundation.”

The numerous activities she is a part of include being a member of the varsity tennis team, SOS, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society, working at Potbelly, and serving as the president of the Pre-Med Club.

Her hard work and success don’t go unnoticed by her teachers.

“She has a love for the arts, which helps, especially when you are applying for an AP art scholarship,” AP Art History teacher Kenneth Fulton said. “She is a diligent student and one of a kind.”

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