Su­per scholar

Arie Smith named Gates Millennium Scholar

The Covington News - - Front page - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­

Al­covy High School se­nior Arie Smith has ac­com­plished some­thing that only 999 other stu­dents in the county have, she has been named a Gates Millennium Scholar, award­ing her up to $500,000 for her col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.

The 17-year-old is one of 23,000 ap­pli­cants for the schol­ar­ship, es­tab­lished in 1999 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion. It not only sup­ports the cost of un­der­grad­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion to the ac­cred­ited school of the stu­dent’s choice, but also of­fers con­tin­ued fund­ing for stu­dents study­ing com­puter science, ed­u­ca­tion, en­gi­neer­ing, li­brary science, math­e­mat­ics, pub­lic health or science, though their doc­tor­ate, should they choose to get one.

Ac­cord­ing to Arie’s mother Joyce Smith, a para­pro­fes­sional and spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion math teacher at New­ton High School, her daugh­ter will at­tend Emory Univer­sity to pur­sue a goal she first an­nounced in the third grade — to be­come a cor­po­rate at­tor­ney. She will ma­jor in busi­ness and fi­nance be­fore head­ing to law school.

“We are ex­tremely proud of Arie,” said Joyce. “She has al­ways been ex­tremely in­de­pen­dent and has al­ways done things on her own. She has al­ways been very aca­dem­i­cally in­clined and driven. As long as she keeps her fo­cus and keeps God first, the sky is the limit for her.”

Arie started read­ing be­fore pre-k and was the only Quest stu­dent in kinder­garten at Por­terdale El­e­men­tary. Since that time

she has been in­volved in cheer­lead­ing, com­mu­nity vol­un­teer­ing (es­pe­cially with the home­less), her church, Wash­ing­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, Keep Cov­ing­ton/New­ton County Beau­ti­ful and ten­nis.

Her fa­ther, Arthur Smith, a math teacher at Mid­dle Grove High School in Decatur, said that Arie was ex­cited when she found out she had been cho­sen as a scholar and that she has worked hard since el­e­men­tary school to make sure she could achieve her goals.

“I am ex­tremely proud of her. She’s al­ways been a very hard worker,” he said.

“A ma­jor goal of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion is to en­sure that all stu­dents grad­u­ate from high school and are pre­pared to pos­i­tively con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety. As a high school prin­ci­pal, a ma­jor goal is to en­sure that stu­dents are grad­u­at­ing that are hon­est, re­spect­ful, who pre­pared to com­pete glob­ally via their col­lege and ca­reer choice,” said Al­covy Prin­ci­pal Dr. LaQuanda Car­pen­ter. “As a grad­u­ate of the 2011 Al­covy class, Arie has reached an amaz­ing ac­com­plish­ment and an out­stand­ing feat. Arie is a stand-out stu­dent. She is ex­tremely re­spect­ful, very hum­ble, goal-ori­ented, and de­ter­mined to ex­cel. Arie has sent a mes­sage that what­ever goal you set for your­self can be achieved if you are will­ing to put forth the hard work and the time that it takes to ac­com­plish such a goal. I am ex­tremely proud of Arie and wish noth­ing but the best for her and her fam­ily as she has proven that she is on her way to set­ting a list of out­stand­ing ac­com­plish­ments.”

Arie is one of four chil­dren; she has an older sis­ter Whit­ney and two younger si­b­lings, Joy and Jar­rett.

Sub­mit­ted photo/The Cov­ing­ton News

Col­lege bound: Arie Smith, se­nior at Al­covy High School, was the re­cip­i­ent of the Gates Millennium Schol­ar­ship, which will give more than $500,000 to her to put to­wards col­lege. She will be at­tend­ing Emory Univer­sity.

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