Phs Student Earns Discover Scholarship

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Stephanie Hilliard, a senior next year at Payson High School, is one of eight students in Arizona that has received the Discover Card Tribute Award.

The $2,500 scholarship may be used by Hilliard to attend college, or any other education or training program, after she graduates from PHS next spring.

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Stephanie Hilliard

Hilliard is unsure of where she will attend college but during the upcoming school year she plans to research schools around the country.

"Once I decide where to go, I want to major in something that has to do with research science," she said.

At Payson High, Hilliard is a member of Key Club, Interact Rotary Club and the National Honor Society.

"She's a very busy young girl on campus," said PHS principal Sue Myers.

Hilliard has attended Payson schools since fifth grade, but moved away during her eighth grade year then returned.

She learned about the Discover scholarship program last school year from PHS Guidance Counselor Judy Michel.

"I filled out the papers and sent them in, but I didn't think I had a chance to win," she said. "I was really excited when I learned I'd won."

The other seven recipients are from Tucson and Valley-area high schools.

According to Discover Card officials, the scholarship winners were chosen from more than 4,500 applicants from around the country.

To qualify, recipients must have had a 2.75 cumulative grade point average and demonstrated accomplishments in three areas -- leadership, community service and special talents.

The scholarship winners are selected by a state panel of judges chosen from Arizona's towns as well as the state's education and business sectors.

The winners in each state go on to compete for nine national scholarships worth $25,000.

The national Tribute Award winners will be honored in June at Discover Financial Services in Riverwoods, Ill.

Hilliard admitted she might be a long shot for a national award but then again, she didn't think she had a chance for the state scholarship.

In all, the scholarships Discover Card award each school year are worth more than $1 million.

"The Discover Card Tribute Award Scholarship program has been proudly investing in the continuing education of high school juniors for more than a decade," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Nelms said.

"We strongly believe that providing these scholarships gives students a good start toward their educational goals."

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