Taylor Eason learned at the beginning of November she was a semi-finalist for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program.
Taylor is a senior at West Liberty High School.
According to a press release from the Coca-Cola Scholars Program, semifinalists were selected based off of their academic excellence, leadership and service at school and in community activities.
There were 91,000 applicants for the scholarship. Taylor is one of 1,557 semifinalists.
“It’s a big deal,” she said. “I didn’t know it was this big of a deal but it is.”
Her mom, Jenna, sent the scholarship application to her.
“We didn’t really know a lot about what it was,” Taylor said. “She said it could be a good opportunity for me so I just did it really fast. I submitted it and here we are now.”
Taylor is involved in FFA and is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS).
“We do service projects for NHS and FFA,” she said. “For FFA, we do service projects like Cuddles for Kids and Fighting for Hunger. We do cleanup, plants and fruit sales – stuff like that.”
Last year, Taylor was a member of the POA “Program of Activities” in FFA. The team went to the state competition and received first place gold at state.
“We just talk about every activity FFA does in a short amount of time,” Taylor said.
She credits POA for helping with listing what activities she has done in FFA and NHS.
Taylor is hoping to attend college at the University of Tennessee or Vanderbilt University.
“I want to major in English and minor in business – either go into publishing or go into law after I’m done,” she said. “I really like to write. I’ve always just been interested in reading and writing. It’s my strong suite for sure.”
To better prepare for college, Taylor is taking several college courses this year.
“I’m taking AP Lit, AP Psych, I did college prep and government,” she said. “I think I’m taking Advance Horticulture, too.”
She has some advice for her classmates when it comes to scholarship applications.
“Don’t overthink it,” Taylor said. “Apply and do your best. Apply to as many as you can. The worse thing that could happen is you don’t get it.”
Taylor’s next step in the Coca-Cola Scholars Program will be submitting an essay from writing prompts, submit her service hours and a letter of recommendation and a short question and answer session, she said. If she is selected as a finalist she will have an in person interview with the selection committee.
West Liberty High School principal Brenda Arthur-Miller said Taylor is a hard working student that maintains a high grade point average.
“She is determined and has set goals for herself,” Arthur-Miller said. “She is active in FFA while taking college courses and Advanced Placement courses has a job outside of school. She is delightful to be around, has a positive attitude and is very down to earth. I’m excited to see how far she can go.”