Tukwila senior awarded Seattle University scholarship
For the second year in a row, a Foster High School graduating senior has won the highly respected Sullivan Leadership Award from Seattle University.
Kimberly Foster, 18, was chosen out of 312 applicants nationwide as a recipient of this scholarship. The Sullivan gives her a full-ride, 4-year scholarship to SU; her tuition, room and board will be fully covered.
The Tukwila student did not expect to win this award, which is given to only nine graduating high school seniors throughout the United States.
"I didn't feel like I would [win]," she said. "These people are so competitive!" Foster described the other Sullivan applicants, saying one young lady actually started a horse camp for children with autism. She said she was shocked each time she was moved on to the next phase.
After applying, qualifying applicants are told to attend Sullivan Leaders' Day. Here, the theme is introduced via an article and applicants are instructed to write an essay related to the article.
This year's theme was "The causes of methamphetamine use and the drug's impact on individuals, families, and communities."
The essays are read and 45 finalists are chosen. From there, they are given a book and must give a brief oral presentation based on this book. "Methland" by Nick Reding was this year's designated reading requirement. Following the speech a committee interviews them and it is after this, a decision is made as to who will receive the award.
"I thought I did pretty well on my speech and I had a pretty good idea of what I would do with the one million dollars," she said. The speech requirement was to present an idea of what they, the Sullivan applicants, would do if given $1 million to combat drug use in the heartland of the U.S.
Foster said a lot of people were talking about building big facilities, and that she took a more logical approach, saying constructing big, new buildings would cost well over $1 million. She thinks this may have contributed to her being chosen as one of the nine award winners.
During the interviews, according to Foster, people were coming out crying. She said this made her nervous going into the interview, but when it was over she felt fine.
"I thought, 'Did I do something wrong?'" she said.
When she walked into the interview, she said the interviewers asked "So, you're an octopus loving, pole vaulting, baking enthusiast?"
"Yes!" Foster said she exclaimed.
"I don't know, actually," Foster said about the reason she thinks she won. "I ask myself that. "
Her bold personality is what earned her the award, Foster guessed.
"I rely on my charisma and personality to get me places," she said.
Foster said she first heard of the award both by noticing a poster on the wall at Foster High, but also on the SU website.
Foster wants to study biochemistry and continue her education until she earns her PhD.
Last year, Foster High senior Apneet Sidhu received the Sullivan award.