Scholarship Spotlight: Samantha Lai

CenterPoint Newsletter | Summer 2017 | by Brittany Jackson, UBMSC Academic Counselor


The UNLV Upward Bound Math & Science Center (UBMSC) is proud to celebrate the academic success of Ed W. Clark High School’s 2017 Valedictorian, Samantha Lai. She will begin her undergraduate career at the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall of 2017. Insightful and equally creative, Samantha is fascinated with the power of the human mind and will be studying psychology with minors in English-TESOL and computer science.

Samantha has been named a prestigious National Merit Scholar Finalist. Through a rigorous and competitive selection process, of the 1.6 million high school juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT© exam in the fall of 2015, Samantha advanced as a National Merit Finalist-- one of 15,000 students representing less than one percent of U.S. graduating seniors. Additionally, Samantha has been named a candidate for the United States Presidential Scholar Program by the White House Commission and the US Department of Education. According to the US Department of Education, of the nearly 3.5 million high school seniors for the class of 2017, Samantha is one of approximately 4,000 students to receive the invitation for candidacy for the United States Presidential Scholars Program.

Samantha has received over 30 scholarships totaling $1.9 million dollars and is still awaiting notification from several others, including those from the Public Education Foundation. Her awarded scholarships include, but are not limited to:

  • National Merit Scholarship
  • United States Achievement Academy Scholarship
  • Paul L. Rucker Scholarship
  • Gustavus Adolphus Dean’s Scholarship
  • Kentucky Heritage Scholarship
  • Portland President’s Scholarship
  • New Mexico State Western Undergraduate Award
  • Hadley Honors Scholarship
  • New American University Scholar President’s Award
  • Arizona State University National Merit Finalist Award
  • University of Oklahoma National Merit Scholarship
  • Seton Hill Honor Scholarship
  • Elizabeth Seton Scholarship
  • Hofstra Presidential Scholarship
  • University of Arizona National Merit Award
  • Arizona Excellence Award
  • Vision Scholarship
  • OK Academic Scholarship
  • Early Filers’ Grant
  • Willamette Trustees’ Scholarship
  • Colorado School of Mines President’s Scholarship
  • UH Regents’ Scholarship
  • Creighton Magis Award
  • Roman Shaffel Award
  • Regis Board of Trustees Award
  • Hollins Scholar Award
  • NYIT Presidential Scholarship
  • Amigo Scholarship
  • Irwin Belk Scholarship
  • Engineering/Computer Science Scholarship
  • Indiana Tech Achievement Award
  • Founders Gold Award
  • University of Tampa Presidential Scholarship
  • UT Raise Scholarship
  • UNR National Merit Scholarship
  • Rosemary & John Martens Scholarship
  • USAA Scholarship
  • UNLV President’s Institutional Scholarship
  • UNLV Valedictorian Scholarship

Samantha will be an excellent addition to the University of Nevada, Reno’s Psychology Department. It has been a pleasure serving as her Upward Bound counselor over the years. While she received many admissions offers, she says she fell in love with Nevada-Reno and is happy to stay close to home. I am excited to watch Samantha grow in her postsecondary endeavors here in our own Battle Born State of Nevada.

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