Four district students selected as Flinn Scholars

Skyline and Westwood seniors won the competitive scholarship package from the Flinn Foundation. The merit-based scholarship, given to only 20 Arizona seniors this year, is valued at more than $115,000.

Flinn scholars 16

Mesa Public Schools 2016 Flinn Scholars are (clockwise from top left): Maeve Kennedy,
Toni Marcheva, Andrew Roberts and Ivette Montes. (Photos by Tim Hacker/Mesa
Public Schools)

Westwood High School seniors Maeve Kennedy, Ivette Montes and Andrew Roberts join Skyline High School senior Toni Marcheva as the district's 2016 Flinn Scholars.

With three scholars, Westwood is the only school in the state to have more than one this year. Students selected as Flinn Scholarship winners receive free tuition, and room and board at Arizona public universities.

Kennedy, Montes and Roberts, all Westwood International Baccalaureate students, will be attending Barrett, the Honors College at ASU in the fall. Marcheva will attend University of Arizona. They've also won invaluable prizes including a three-week summer seminar in China, funding for studying abroad, mentorship from faculty members and the opportunity to interact with world leaders.

Meet this year's Mesa Public Schools Flinn Scholars.

Maeve Kennedy, Westwood High School

Plans for the future: I plan to major in chemical engineering and minor in Chinese. My dream job would be to address environmental concerns through engineering, possibly focusing on battery disposal and energy storage.

Her favorite Mesa Public Schools memory: I will never forget our team bringing home the inaugural AIA Robotics State Championship to Westwood. The experience of working with the team and seeing our efforts pay off was not only incredibly rewarding, but also put me on my path to a career in engineering.

Toni Marcheva, Skyline High School

Plans for the future: I will study PPEL, which is politics, philosophy, economics and law. I'm also interested in studying several languages (like Russian and Spanish) and creative writing for fun. My dream job isn't exactly set. Law interests me a lot, and I love learning the languages and cultures of other countries. That may translate into a job as an ambassador, but I'm excited to see where college will lead me.

How Mesa Public Schools prepared her for success: Nearly every teacher I had has been passionate about his or her respective subject, so I got a fair and exciting view of everything. Although I entered my junior year set on being an engineer, my English and history teachers gave me such a fresh view of the humanities that I learned that was where my passion was.

Ivette Montes, Westwood High School

Plans for the future: I am majoring in mechanical engineering. My dream job is leading projects at an innovative engineering company surrounded by very diverse people.

How Mesa Public Schools prepared her for success: The International Baccalaureate program greatly encouraged my academic success throughout high school. I joined during sophomore year seeking a more rigorous program and got a high-quality education that motivated me to succeed in all my endeavors.

Andrew Roberts, Westwood High School

Plans for the future: I will double major in electrical engineering and supply chain management. My dream job is to be CEO of a cutting edge energy technologies company.

His advice for incoming freshmen: To begin to build relationships with faculty members, especially counselors. Having counselors and teachers I can go to when I need help is the most valuable and game-changing aspect of my high school education. Additionally, joining a community of individuals that you feel a part of can go a huge way to experiencing success in high school. Clubs are a great place to start!


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