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Cuthbertson student breaks long-time family tradition

Amy Bareham is surprised when she is handed Queen’s University’s Presidential Scholarship by Woody O’Cain, Queen’s director of admissions.

Amy Bareham, a 17-year-old senior at Cuthbertson High School, is going to break a long-time family tradition, but it’s a tradition they don’t mind losing.

Amy had no idea when she walked into her school’s media center Wednesday (Feb. 29, 2012) why her family and friends, who had gathered there, were cheering as she entered. Then she saw the balloons and banners saying Queen’s University.

It was then that Amy realized she had been given the Presidential Scholarship, the highest academic scholarship at Queen’s, worth more than $100,000, making her the first person in her family to attend a four-year college.

“I’m thrilled and honored,” she said. “I love Queen’s English program. I’m excited about Queen’s. I definitely want to study English. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was six.”

The scholarship recognizes academic excellence, leadership achievement and service to the community. Applicants go before two panels of judges that are comprised of current Queen’s faculty and students.

“They are looking for students who have an intellectual curiosity, and who are a good fit for our signature programs that allow students to study abroad,” said Woody O’Cain, Queen’s director of Admissions. “Obviously through her responses, demeanor, level of maturity and her presence, she rose to the top.”

As for why she thinks she was chosen, Amy said she just tried to be herself. “I know that sounds cliché, but going in there, I didn’t want to show them somebody I wasn’t. I talked to them about what I was passionate about. I talked about my love of learning and my love of writing. I even shared some book ideas with them. I just tried to be me.”

Todd Ebert, the Cuthbertson teacher who wrote the letter of recommendation for Amy, wasn’t surprised she was chosen. “Amy is a wonderful young lady who has a bright future ahead of her,” he said.

Ebert has worked with Amy through her participation in the concert band, marching band, jazz band and rock band. “Her musical skills complement her academics, and she is successful in every activity she participates in. I see Amy as being successful at Queen’s and know that she will represent their Presidential Scholarship and a Cuthbertson band alumni with great accomplishment.”

Amy’s parents, Judith and Jonathan Bareham, even brought Amy’s grandfather, Alan Vincent, who was Skyped via her dad’s laptop into the school from his home in Woldingham, England. “I was actually just with him last week, but I’m so glad he could be here,” Amy said.

Written by: Deb Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Video by: Don Mace, UCPS Web Communications Coordinator
Posted: Mar 02, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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