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Clarendon County student receives rare scholarship honor

The district said that 51,000 students across the United States had applied for the scholarship. Only 750 received the scholarship.
Credit: Clarendon County School District
Nnamdi Hopkins

SUMMERTON, S.C. — A Clarendon County high school student was recently named one of only a handful nationwide to receive a prestigious scholarship.

The Clarendon County School District announced on Friday that Scott's Branch High School senior Nnamdi Hopkins was one of just 750 people across the country to be honored with the 2023 Gates Scholarship.

According to only documentation provided by the scholarship itself, the honor is a "highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households.

The scholarship covers the full cost of college attendance that is not already covered by other financial aid and expected family contribution as determined by Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or another method determined by the student's college of choice.

Cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation and may also include other personal costs.

The ideal candidate is described as a student with an outstanding academic record in high school and among the top 10% of his or her graduating class. The candidate should also show leadership ability through community service, extracurricular activity, or others. The candidate should also display exceptional personal success skills including emotional maturity, motivation, and perseverance.

The district said that 51,000 students across the United States had applied for the scholarship.

“Nnamdi is an exemplary student and has shown that throughout his high school career,” Principal Tyrone Cummings said in a statement provided by the district. “Seeing our students excel and reach their goals is always great. I look forward to hearing great things from Nnamdi in the future.”

The district said that Nnamdi plans to attend Howard University in the fall and will pursue a criminology degree before going on to serve in the U.S. Navy. 

He plans to become a federal agent with the FBI, serve in the U.S. Secret Service, or join the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

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