First place: Kyle Renaux kyle-renaux-photo.jpeg

Homeschooled | Hampton, Virginia

Kyle Renaux is the second oldest of five boys in a homeschool family. Kyle will be graduating from the Home Educators Association of Virginia Convention on June 8, in Richmond, Virginia. He will be attending Bob Jones University as a computer science major. Throughout high school, he has been involved in FIRST Tech Challenge robotics and this is where his interest in technology started. Since then, Kyle has been learning coding, 3D modeling and graphic design. When he graduates from college, Kyle wants to use the knowledge he has gained to start his own business by using technology to improve people’s lives.

Download Essay


Second Place:Grace Beattiegrace-beattie-photo.jpg

 Midlothian High School | Midlothian, Virginia 

Grace Beattie is a graduating senior at Midlothian High School, where she has been a seat member of the class council for several years and the vice president of the National Honor Society. Next fall, she will be attending the University of South Carolina, where she will pursue her doctorate degree in philosophy, hoping to practice as a clinical psychologist. While there, she also plans on meeting new friends, playing intramural sports and making lots of memories. 

Download Essay 


Honorable Mentions:

Arden Floyd | Orange County High School | Orange, Virginia arden-floyd-photo.jpg

Arden Floyd is a rising senior at Orange County High School, where she is enrolled in the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School. She took two college courses, Intro to Engineering at UVA and Pre-calculus at Germanna Community College, and still found time for the high school swim team. Arden is active in her community and school, and participates in Girl Scouts, church, National Honor Society, Nature Appreciation Club and the school’s Art Club. She also helps with mentoring at the elementary school. After high school, Arden plans to continue her education and is considering a major in civil engineering. In her free time, she will continue to write short stories and create art.

Download Essay


Kariyah Jones | James Madison University | Harrisonburg, Virginia kariyah-jones-photo.png

Kariyah Jones is a rising junior at James Madison University, seeking a degree in communication studies. Her high school journey and accolades have helped to pave her way to JMU. She is a proud recipient of the Centennial Scholarship, and she would not have been able to seek out her passions at such a university without it. Kariyah hopes to one day open a nonprofit that will teach youth the importance of a hard work ethic and self representation. Always having been a creative individual, she received her cosmetology license her senior year of high school. Furthering her interest in creativity, she would love to bring the ideas of another to life through decor, craftsmanship and many other things. College has not only allowed her to see that a degree is a key to open many doors to success, but it is a place where you can grow tremendously and uncover the talents you may not have known you had.

Download Essay


Nathalie Williams | Broadway High School | Keezletown, Virginia nathalie-williams-photo.jpeg

Nathalie Williams is a hard working employee at Camp Horizons. She also picks up farm sitting and house work jobs on the side. Nathalie recently graduated with an advanced diploma from Broadway High School and is very excited to be attending her dream school, Randolph-Macon College, in the fall. Though she is undecided in her major, she plans to take her young horse with her to compete on the Equestrian Eventing Team for Randolph Macon-College.

Download Essay