Senior Sarah Buie was awarded Wichita State University’s $64,000 Harry Gore Memorial Scholarship. Only three received this scholarship out of 607 applicants, which was narrowed down to 82 semi-finalists and later 11 finalists. Other recipients include Anna Tri from Andover Central High School and Gehad Qaki from Wichita Collegiate School.
“When they called me I thought it was a joke. I couldn’t believe that I had seriously won that scholarship,” Buie said. “I held my composure while I was on the phone, but afterward my parents and I just started crying.”
Buie began her high school experience at Derby freshman year. She was heavily involved in debate, in which won number one novice debater her freshman year and competed on the varsity team her sophomore year. She also competed in forensics and took several honors classes.
During her junior year, she enrolled in Fort Hays State University as a part of the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science program. She was still enrolled in Derby, but lived on campus and attended college classes for dual credit.
“My time at KAMS definitely impacted what I was looking for in a college,” Buie said. “I decided I wanted to go to one in a bigger city, with good research opportunities, an active campus life, but not a party school, and that was affordable. When I ended up applying to colleges, WSU was my first choice and I applied to FHSU as my backup.”
Buie was a Residence Hall Association Representative for her dorm, was elected president of Custer Hall, and started a community service organization called KAMS Cares and a mentor program to help new KAMS students assimilate into the college environment.
Buie decided to unenroll in Derby and withdraw from the KAMS program her senior year, homeschooling to allow for more flexibility with her schedule. She currently takes classes from Butler Community College and Cowley Community College and volunteers at Mulvane Grade School.
To apply for the Distinguished Scholarship Invitational, which includes a variety of scholarships such as the Gore scholarship, Buie wrote two essays and included a list of her activities, jobs, leadership positions, and community service experience.
“The hardest part was definitely the essays. I was really nervous that they wouldn’t be good enough,” Buie said.
Buie plans on double majoring in psychology and elementary education.
“One thing I like about doing research is that it combines my strengths in math and science with my writing skills. Research has a lot of statistics and background research that allows me to stay challenged in those areas, but still do something that wouldn’t typically be considered STEM,” Buie said.
Buie aspires to be a college professor and to research childhood trauma.
“That would allow me to combine my passions for children, research, and teaching into one job. My ideal job would be to be Dr. Karyn Purvis,” Buie said.
She is excited for both her educational and extracurricular experiences at WSU.
“I’m looking forward to joining the student ambassador society, Christian Challenge, and participating in research,” Buie said. “I met a lot of really great people (Friday) that told me about a bunch of other clubs too so I have to narrow it down.”
While Buie has actively worked toward her educational goals throughout high school, actually receiving the scholarship still surprised her.
“It still doesn’t even feel real,” Buie said. “I’m just crazy excited. It’s an amazing opportunity.”