Academic achievement and community involvement has earned Payson High School senior Elizabeth Luna the Ronald McDonald House $2,500 scholarship to attend the college of her choice.
Luna is one of 96 Arizona High School seniors to receive the scholarship that is funded by McDonald’s owners and operations in Phoenix and Northern Arizona.
All of the recipients, including Luna, will be recognized at the June 4 Arizona Diamondbacks game at Chase Field.
“McDonald’s is very proud to impact the lives of students in our local business communities,” said Ernie Adair, a McDonald’s owner-operator and chairman of the scholarship program.
Among the many activities Luna is involved in at Payson High School is cross-country.
Last fall, “she was having a great season, third on our team and got injured half way through the season,” said coach Jonathan Ball. “She was out the rest of the season, but was a great teammate as she continued to go to practices and meets to encourage the team.”
She has a personal best in the 5K of 24 minutes, 26 seconds and was a member of the 2008 cross-country team that qualified for state.
The coach lauds Luna as, “a great student-athlete committed to making our school a better place.”
In addition to competing in cross-country, Luna is student body president, a member of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), National Honor Society, student government (STUGO) and has participated in track and field.
She and Jamilyn Scott also organized the Stand Now campaign and helped spearhead Project Ignition.
“She’s very active in school,” said Ball.
PHS student government adviser Shelly Camp agrees, “As president, she wanted to make a difference on campus this year and she did just that.”
One of Luna’s goals as president was to involve more students in government projects.
“When she would notice someone left out she would try to find a way for them to be included,” Camp said. “She would talk with the person and build on their strengths.”
Although Luna will graduate in a few days, Camp believes that Luna’s leadership will influence next year’s seniors.
“She has left her classmates that follow a strong foundation to build on,” she said.
Ronald McDonald Charities has been doling out the scholarships since 1995 and this year will give out awards totaling $242,500.