Student wins national scholarship

Mikayla Hickey of Alexander Central School has earned a prestigious National Honor Society semifinalist scholarship. She plans to study biology at UCLA.

ALEXANDER — For the first time in many years, an Alexander senior has been selected as a National Honor Society Scholarship semifinalist.

Mikayla Hickey was chosen from nearly 10,000 applicants and received a $3,200 scholarship toward higher education. The NHS gives out 600 scholarships nationwide — 575 of which are semifinalist scholarships — to an outstanding senior and NHS member.

“I was quite excited, and I think (my advisor) Mrs. Wright was excited as well,” Mikayla said.

She was notified on April 8.

“I was very surprised when I heard I won at first because I went into it thinking, ‘This is a good opportunity, I should try it,’” Mikayla said. “I always try to take advantage of any opportunities that come my way.”

In the beginning of her senior year, Mikayla said, her NHS advisor, Megan Wright, always tells everyone in Alexander’s NHS chapter to apply for the scholarship.

“So I took the time and I went on the NHS website — they have a whole thing for the scholarship — and I had to write an essay or so and fill out the form,” she said.

The essay was about how the four pillars of the NHS — character, scholarship, service and leadership — have shaped her high school experience and how she will apply them to her college education and beyond.

Mikayla said she’s thankful for the scholarship, and it’s nice to see all the work and time has paid off through high school and to be recognized.

But for her the bigger part of winning the scholarship, especially in a small town and school such as Alexander, is she hopes it inspires younger students they can make a difference.

“We have some phenomenal younger students,” she said. “They absolutely meet the criteria of being one of these winners. I hope they apply for it in the following years, and I hope it shows them their hard work will pay off. I recognize some of the younger scholars in our school right now.”

Mikayla is planning on attending UCLA to study biology, most likely on a pre-med track. She has been in the ACE program at GCC, and will be graduating May 22 with an associate’s degree in natural sciences as well.

While in the ACE program, she took a lot of science classes and fell in love.

“As for the medical field part, I just love working with people,” Mikayla said.

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