Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Student named Presidential Scholar


A Green River High School student will join 160 other U.S. Presidential Scholars in Washington D.C., in June to receive a medallion and participate in numerous activities.

Anna Harris, a senior at GRHS, recently received a letter from United States Secretary Betsy DeVos of the Department of Education informing her of her selection as one of the 2017 Presidential scholars.

According to a press release, Harris was one of 722 semifinalists from nearly 5,100 candidates who applied across the country.

“Harris is one of the 161 outstanding American high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community,” the release states.

“I was very happy,” Harris said. “I had to interview for this. It was a good interview I guess.”

The interview was just one part of the complete application process. Harris had to write essays, obtain letters of recommendation, list the organizations and extracurricular activities she was involved and include a list of her volunteer work. Of course, she also had to do well on the ACT or SAT and maintain a certain GPA to even be considered.

Harris spoke fondly of the nonprofit organization she created called THiNC There is No Cure.

“It’s to help mentally disabled people and to help those with brain injuries,” Harris said.

Unfortunately, Harris has seen first hand how a brain injury can impact one’s life when her brother, Eric suffered a brain injury.

“My brother is permanently disabled,” Harris said. “I hope to save others before it gets to that point.”

Harris wants to educate people on what to watch for after someone receives a head injury so they don’t wind up permanently disabled.

Although her brother is doing better, she still sees him struggle.

Another area Harris focused on was her passion for art. Harris has stood out on the high-school level not only at GRHS, but at the state. She recently received a congressional award for her artwork two years in a row, which is something that is hard to do.

“I congratulate this year’s Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” DeVos said in the release. “Today’s Presidential Scholars are tomorrow’s leaders, and I am confident they will continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.”

This honor doesn’t come with any funding toward future college opportunities, however, it does give any student to receives it an advantage.

“It is definitely a resume booster,” Harris admitted. “It’ll be an honor to go down there and receive it.”

Harris said not only is it a trip to Washington D.C., from June 18-20, but an opportunity to meet other students and visit with U.S. representatives and U.S. senators.

“I’m really excited, but it’s nerve racking,” Harris said.


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