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FORT LUPTON — Fort Lupton High School senior Savannah Barry’s already bright future just went up a couple of shades in intensity.
Barry, ever-present in the community as well as school, is a winner of the 2013 Daniels Fund Scholarship, a full ride to college awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership and service.
Barry, who plans to double major in psychology and criminology, would like to someday work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Her goal is to become a profiler.
“That’s what I’d really like to do, if they’ll take me,” Barry said. “That’s why I chose those two majors, it’s a good mix.”
Barry took an initial screening to see if she qualified for the program, then she began the extensive application process -- one that took into account her many academic achievements, her involvement in extracurricular school activities and her community focus.
“I’ve been president of Knowledge Bowl for two years, I’ve been heavily involved in DECA for the last couple of years, and I am in the National Honor Society,” Barry said, listing just a few of her accomplishments at FLHS.
Work experience also factored in, and Barry’s career as a lifeguard at the Fort Lupton Recreation Center helped with the final selection.
Out of 3,000 applicants, about 600 made the semifinal round. That’s when things got tense for Barry, waiting to see if her semifinal status translated into a win. Adding to the stress was a rigorous interview series aimed at determining Barry’s personal character.
“I went over spring break, and they asked me about my morals, my beliefs, what I am planning to do with my life, how the scholarship would help me accomplish my goals,” Barry explained. “Then I had to wait, at least a good month, before they announced who the finalists were.”
Predictably busy, Barry found herself representing FLHS out of state when she got the news that she made the small list of winners.
“It was actually kind of funny, because the day I found out was the day that we arrived in Los Angeles for DECA Nationals, so my dad had to tell me over the phone. It was crazy, I was so glad that I got it.”
Sandra Barry, Savannah’s mother, is over the moon with the good news and bursting with pride at the win -- and the steps Savannah took to land the scholarship.
“It’s so exciting, and such a good thing for Savannah and the school,” Sandra Barry said. “It’s such a compilation of things. They look at your character, they look your ACT, they look at the classes that you have taken, they look at your GPA, they have the whole interview process she had to go through, it’s a pretty stiff competition.”
Best of all for Savannah and her parents is the relief of knowing her education is fully paid for, so she can focus on studying to reach her goals. The terms of the Daniels Fund provide a full match for expenses above and beyond any scholarships she may yet win.
“They call it a ‘last dollar scholarship,” Savannah Barry said. “They make up the difference between my total cost and any other scholarships I get.”
The scholarship is renewable on an annual basis, provided Savannah work a minimum of 125 hours this school year, something that’s never a problem for her.
“D.U. offered me a work-study, so I will take that,” Barry said. “It just depends on what I get for a job this summer, maybe I can transfer down there, or find something down there.”
Until that happens, Barry is looking locally for work and coming to terms with her amazing achievement, one that she richly deserves yet still came as a wonderful surprise.
“It was funny, my dad called me, and asked if I was sitting down,” Barry said. ”I said I was, and he just said, “You got it.” I asked him if he was kidding, and he said, “No, you really got it.” I just started crying.”