Submitted By Alyssa Coker
Smithson Valley High School senior Julia LaFond recently learned she was awarded the McDermott Scholar Program at The University of Texas at Dallas, a very prestigious honor.
The McDermott Scholar Program began in the year 2000 after Margaret McDermott created the elite scholars program in honor of her late husband, and co-founder of UT Dallas, Eugene McDermott.
The program provides selected students not only a full ride, but access to leadership training, cultural enrichment, and opportunities designed to equip them with the skills, experience, and confidence to succeed as leaders in today’s society.
In addition to UT Dallas’ academic curriculum, scholars are expected to maintain ongoing community service, as well as campus leadership commitments.
Students who apply for the program must meet strict qualifications including a 1450 or higher on the SAT, be in the top five percent of their graduating class, as well as showcase a long record of leadership in school and community volunteerism.
Students who meet the minimum academic requirements and additional qualifications may then be invited to the McDermott Finalists’ Weekend where they are interviewed by the program faculty and McDermott Alumni.
This year, LaFond was one of only 16 students across the globe that was selected, and the first to ever be selected from Smithson Valley High.